2001 Winners of the National Awards for Education Reporting

The 2001 education journalism awards winners are announced!

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Education Writers Association (EWA), the national professional association of education reporters and writers, today announced that Patrick Healy, the Boston Globe’s education writer, won the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting. Healy’s investigative series on grade inflation at Harvard University, “Harvard’s Quiet Secret: Rampant Grade Inflation,” was selected by the judges as the best of the first-place winners of the 2001 National Awards for Education Reporting, the prestigious national competition for education writing. The annual contest honors the best education reporting in the print and broadcast media and is the only independent contest of its kind in the United States. Contest entries were limited to stories published or broadcast for the first time during the 2001 calendar year.

A total of 428 entries were judged in this year’s contest. First place winners receive a cash prize of $250 and a plaque. Winners of second prizes and special citations each receive a certificate. The Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, which includes an award of $1,000 and a plaque, will be presented to the best of the first-place winners. All prizes, including the announcement of the Grand Prize, are given at the awards banquet April 27 at 6:30 p.m. during the Education Writers Association’s 55th National Seminar, April 25-27, 2002, at the Wyndham City Center Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Contest judging was conducted independently, under the direction of Chief Judge Chris Harvey of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. This year’s panel of distinguished judges included: Steve Barkin, associate professor, Merrill College of Journalism; Alice Bonner, assistant professor, Merrill College of Journalism; Carol Guensburg, director, Journalism Fellowships in Child and Family Policy; Haynes Johnson, professor and Knight Chair, Merrill College of Journalism; Phyllis Jordan, education editor, Washington Post Maryland Desk; Sue Kopen Katcef, broadcast lecturer, Merrill College of Journalism; Rafael Lorente, reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Washington bureau; Carla McCoy, yearbook advisor and English teacher, Edmondson Westside High School in Baltimore; Tim McDonough, director of public affairs, American Council on Education; Deborah Potter, executive director, NewsLab; and Frank Quine, assistant dean, Merrill College of Journalism.

Recent winners of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting include Ken WeissLos Angeles TimesTim SimmonsRaleigh News & ObserverDeb KollarsSacramento Bee; and Jacques SteinbergThe New York Times.

Prizes are awarded in the following categories:





A. Breaking or Hard News

  • 1st Prize — Nicholas Cole, Robbie Evans, Emeri O’Brien, Seth Parsons, Mark Rainwater, Heather Wecsler – The News-Star, Monroe, La.- “School Violence Strikes Home”
  • 2nd Prize — Alex Davis, Dan De Carbonel, Dana Haynes, Stefanie Knowlton, Tara McLain, Peter Wong – Statesman Journal, Salem, Oreg.- “Bus, Truck Collide: 3 Still Hospitalized”
  • Special Citation — Eric Eyre – Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail – “Student Suspended for T-Shirts Opposing the Bombing of Afghanistan”

B. Feature

  • 1st Prize — Mary Wiltenburg and Andy Nelson – The Christian Science Monitor – “Acting With Conviction”
  • 2nd Prize — Emily Bliss – New Times Broward-Palm Beach – “A Scout for Life”
  • Special Citations — Deirdre Newman – Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, Calif. – “In the Classroom”
  • Jennifer Rose Marino – Savannah Morning News – “No Excuses”

C. News Feature or Issue Package

  • 1st Prize — Eric Fry – The Juneau Empire – “Mario Joins Columbus in History”
  • 2nd Prize — Jane Rider – The Missoulian, Missoula, Mont. – “Breaking the Silence”
  • Special Citation — Eric Eyre – Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail – “Talent Ignored: School System’s Gifted Program Shuts Out African-American Students”

D. Series or Group of Articles

  • 1st Prize — Kristen King – The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. – “Special Education or Special Problems: Disabled or Labeled”
  • 2nd Prize –Renee Moilanen – Daily Breeze, Torrance, Calif. – “Keys to Success”
  • Special Citation — Mary Beth Pfeiffer – Poughkeepsie Journal, N.Y. – ” {C}{C}Just Say Yes? Children and Ritalin {C}{C}”

E. Investigative Reporting

  • 1st Prize — Nigel Jaquiss – Willamette Week, Portland, Oreg. – ” {C}{C}The Poisoning of Whitaker {C}{C}”
  • 2nd Prize — Eric Eyre – Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail – “Students Flock to the Movies on School Time”

F. Opinion

  • 1st Prize — D. Reed Eckhardt and Scott Smith – Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyo. – “School Accountability”
  • 2nd Prize — Jeff Ballinger – The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, Calif. – “Columns on School Violence”
  • Special Citation — John P. Young – Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex. – “Schools Suffering EDD”

G. Special Section or Page

  • 1st Prize — Jennifer Rose Marino and Mary Carr Mayle – Savannah Morning News – “Vision 2010″
  • 2nd Prize — Diane D’Amico – The Press of Atlantic City – “20 Years of Abbott vs. Burke”
  • Special Citation — Betsy Bethel, Linda Comins, Jennifer Compston, Kathy Fuller, Bonnie Ritz, Phyllis Sigal, Roger Warren, Heather Ziegler – The Intelligencer, Wheeling, W.V. – “Topics: Education”



A. Breaking or Hard News

  • 1st Prize — Kate Coscarelli, Ivelisse DeJesus, Sue Epstein, Tom Feeney, David Gibson, Kelly Heyboer, Patrick Jenkins, John P. Martin, Bev McCarron, John Mooney, Mary Jo Patterson, Michael Wattkis – The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. – “Middletown Strike”
  • 2nd Prize — Susan Snyder, Dale Mezzacappa, James M. O’Neill, Frederick Cusick, Ovetta Wiggins, Amy Worden Philadelphia Inquirer – “Edison School Takeover”

B. Feature

  • 1st Prize — Kent Fischer – St.Petersburg Times – ” {C}{C}Teaching Chelsea How to Read”
  • 2nd Prize –Ken Weiss – Los Angeles Times – “Eggs Buy a College Education”
  • Special Citation — Mike MosedaleCity Pages, Minneapolis, Minn. – “Take Till it Hurts”

C. News Feature or Issue Package

  • 1st Prize — Kathleen Chapman and William M. Hartnett– The Palm Beach Post – “FCAT More a Measure of Wealth Than Performance”
  • 2nd Prize — Deb Kollars – The Sacramento Bee – “On Their Own”
  • Special Citations — Steven Carter and Janie Har – The Oregonian (Portland) – “A Detour Before the Degree”
  • Erik Lords – Detroit Free Press – “Blazes Ignite Worries in Dorms”

D. Series or Group of Articles

  • 1st Prize — Abby Goodnough – The New York Times – “Ms. Moffett’s First Year”
  • 2nd Prize — Dan Aguayo, Kay Balmer, Maya Blackmun, Chris Broderick, Clifton Chestnut, Noelle Crombie, Holley Gilbert, Laura Gunderson, Betsy Hammond, Michael Ottey, Paige Parker, Hank Stern, Jim Tankersley, Lynne Terry – The Oregonian, (Portland) – “Why Not the Best?”
  • Special Citations — Brigid Schulte and Dan Keating – The Washington Post – “A Growing Divide”Tim Simmons and Susan Ebbs – The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C. – “The New Segregation”

E. Investigative Reporting

  • 1st Prize — Patrick Healy – The Boston Globe – “Harvard’s Quiet Secret: Rampant Grade Inflation”
  • 2nd Prize — Becky Beaupre, Kate N. Grossman, Rosalind Rossi – The Chicago Sun-Times – “Failing Teachers”
  • Special Citations — Ray Rivera – The Seattle Times – “Boy Paid to Disappear”
  • Jacques Steinberg and Diana B. Henriques – The New York Times – “None of the Above”

F. Opinion

  • 1st Prize — Margaret Downing – Houston Press – “But Who’s Counting?”
  • 2nd Prize — Tim A. Chavez – The Tennessean (Nashville) – “Staying the Course: How Nashville’s Immigrant Children Finally Won Respect and Resources for a Fair Education”

G. Special Section or Page

  • 1st Prize — Jennifer Rothacker and Celeste Smith – Charlotte Observer – “School Reassignment: Finding the Right School for Your Child”
  • 2nd Prize — Maria Sacchetti, Keith Sharon, Sarah Tully Tapia– The Orange County Register, Calif. – “Primer for Parents”


(including magazines produced as separate sections of newspapers)

A. National Magazine

  • 1st Prize — William C. Symonds, Ann Therese Palmer, Hilary Hylton – BusinessWeek – “How to Fix America’s Schools”
  • 2nd Prize — John Cloud and Jodie Morse – TIME Magazine – “Home Sweet School”
  • Special Citation — Barbara Kantrowitz – Newsweek – “The Kids Who Saw It All”

B. Regional or Local Magazine

  • 1st Prize — Mark Spencer – The Hartford Courant – “The Dream Factory”
  • 2nd Prize — Marc Fisher– The Washington Post – “Uncommon Knowledge”



  • 1st Prize — Alexander Wohl – American Educator – “The School Marketplace Has Commercialization Gone Too Far?”
  • 2nd Prize — Kevin Bushweller – Education Week/ Teacher Magazine – “The Return of Laura Marks”


A. Hard News and Investigative

  • 1st Prize — Denise Eck, Chris Koeberl, Bernard Choi, Nickie Flynn – KWCH 12 Eyewitness News, Wichita, Kansas – “Unauthorized Spending”
  • 2nd Prize — Richard Reeve, Bill Ditton, Kathleen Johnston, Gerry Lanosga – WTHR-TV, Indianapolis, In. – “Safe at School?”
  • Special Citation — Bernard Choi – KWCH-TV, Wichita, Kansas – “School Budget Breakdown”

B. Feature or Documentary

  • 1st Prize — John Merrow and Donald Devet – The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS – “Making the Grade”
  • 2nd Prize — Jeff Hirsh and Jeff Barnhill – WKRC-TV – “East End Heritage”


(a single program or series of reports on the same subject or theme)

  • 1st Prize — Kathryn Baron – KQED-FM, San Francisco, Calif. – “The Testing of America: Education or Obsession”
  • 2nd Prize — Jody Becker – WBEZ, Chicago, Ill. – “The Big Idea: Students with Autism Attend College Prep”
  • Special Citation — Ellin O’Leary – Youth Radio, Berkeley, Calif. – “Making the Grade”