2010 Winners of the National Awards for Education Reporting

The 2010 education journalism awards winners are announced!

Bloomberg News has won the top prize in the National Awards for Education Reporting for “Education Inc.,” a searing investigative look at for-profit colleges and universities.

EWA announced the winners of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting at its annual conference in New Orleans on April 9. It includes a cash prize of $1,500.

The project investigated how millions of low-income students face daunting debt and limited job prospects after being promised the American dream of a college education. In the investigative series, the team of Dan Golden, John Hechinger and John Lauerman detailed how the for-profit higher education industry cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars by targeting low-income students who receive federal financial aid.

The winners of the 2010 National Awards for Education Reporting were also recognized at the annual conference.

A total of 345 entries were judged in this year’s contest, and 59 entries won awards.

“In lean times, it’s especially important to recognize journalists who are managing to produce high-quality coverage,” said EWA Executive Director Caroline Hendrie. “We’re pleased to be able to increase the value of the cash awards, but wish the amount could come closer to what these fine journalists truly deserve.”

Contest judging was conducted independently, under the direction of Chief Judge Tamara M. Cooke Henry, Ph.D., of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.

This year’s panel of distinguished judges were Tracey Wong Briggs, Graduate Management Admission Council;Doug Cumming, Washington & Lee University; Duchesne Drew, Star Tribune; Jodi Mailander Farrell, the Miami Herald; Hilary Gates, Walter Johnson High School; LynNell Hancock, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; Steve Henderson, Detroit Free Press; Jim Naughton, formerly with the Philadelphia Inquirer; Mark Schmitt, formerly with American Prospect magazine; Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY; Angela Starke, Weekend Anchor/Reporter with WVLT-TV, CBS affiliate, Knoxville; and Marcus Wilson, formerly with ABC Radio.

EWA wishes to thank the American Council on Education for its support of the contest.


A. Single-Day News Coverage or Feature:

First Prize – Lauren SmileySF WeeklyThe ABC’s of Ditching School

Second Prize – Joel WarnerWestwordLax and the City

Special Citation – Melanie AsmarWestwordTeacher’s Fret

B. Beat Reporting:

First Prize – Julie MackKalamazoo Gazette, Julie Mack on Michigan education

Second Prize – Liz WillenJustin Snider, Sarah Butrymowicz, Jen Oldham, Sarah Garland, Jon Marcus, and Brian Thevenot, Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, The Hechinger Report’s Education Coverage 

Special Citation – Steve EsackThe Morning CallSteve Esack Education Beat

C. Series:

First Prize – Rena Havner PhilipsPress-RegisterAlabama’s Race to the Bottom

Second Prize – Diette CourrégéThe Post and CourierGrading Teachers


Becca TuckerStraus NewsMiddle School Principal Tests Boundaries With Home Visit

Special Citation – Courtney CutrightThe Roanoke TimesAutism: Breaking Down the Barriers

D. Investigative Reporting:

First Prize – Tracy LoewStatesman JournalWESD’s Web of Deals

Second Prize – Helen ZelonAlice Proujansky, Rachel Dodakian, Maria Muentes, Samia Shafi, Anthony Smyrski, and Jarrett MurphyCity LimitsHope or Hype in Harlem?

Special Citation – Mc Nelly Torres, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Virtually Worthless: With No Government Regulations, Online High Schools Can be Costly Pursuits

E. Opinion:

First Prize – Jim Warren,Chicago News Cooperative, Jim Warren Education Columns: From Cradle to College

Second Prize – Thomas TochPhi Delta KappanFederal Education Policy in the Obama Era

Special Citation – Scott ElliottDayton Daily NewsDayton districts should pursue Race to the Top


A. Single-Day News Coverage or Feature:

First Prize – Diane Rado, Tara Malone, and Joe MahrChicago TribuneIs high school making your kids college-ready?

Second Prize – Po Bronson and Ashley MerrymanNewsweekThe Creativity Crisis


Anya KamenetzFast Company‘A’ Is for App


Cheryl RossThe Virginian-Pilot, Hope and Heartache

Special Citation – Amy DePaulAlterNetTeacher Sued for Bashing Christianity — Will Others Be Censored?


Rebecca CatalanelloSt. Petersburg TimesHis pills cause her pain

B. Beat Reporting:

First Prize – Bill TurqueWashington PostBill Turque on D.C. schools

Second Prize – Kelly FieldThe Chronicle of Higher EducationKelly Field on for-profit colleges

Special Citation – Sharon OttermanThe New York Times, Beat Reporting

C. Series:

First Prize – Erin Richards, Amy Hetzner, Alan J. Borsuk, and Becky VeveaMilwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Hechinger ReportBuilding a Better Teacher

Second Prize – Toni KonzThe Courier-JournalSchools on the Brink

Special Citation – David Glenn, Sara Lipka, Andrea Fuller, Jeffrey Brainard, Alex Richard, Ron Coddington, Brian O’Leary, Robin Wilson, and Elyse AshburnThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMeasuring Stick

D. Investigative Reporting:

First Prize – Daniel Golden, John Hechinger, and John Lauerman, Bloomberg News, Education Inc.

Second Prize – Jason Song, Jason Felch, Doug Smith, and Sandra PoindexterLos Angeles TimesGrading the Teachers

Special Citation – Kelly Field, Goldie Blumenstyk, Jeffrey Brainard, and Ron CoddingtonThe Chronicle of Higher EducationThe High Cost of Defaults

E. Opinion:

First Prize – Catherine Snow,  ScienceAcademic Language and the Challenge of Reading for Learning about Science

Second Prize – Kevin CareyThe Chronicle of Higher EducationDecoding the Value of Computer Science

Special Citation – Derrick JacksonThe Boston GlobeDerrick Z. Jackson on Schools


Ed Dante (pseudonym), The Chronicle of Higher EducationThe Shadow Scholar by “Ed Dante”


A. Short-Form Coverage:

First Prize – Lindsey Christ, New York 1 News, High Ranking Public School Charges Tuition

B. Beat Reporting:

First Prize – Greg Groogan and Mark Muller, KRIV-TV, Groogan and Muller Cover Schools

Second Prize – Rehema Ellis, NBC Nightly News, Education Nation: 2010 Day by Day

Special Citation – John Merrow, Spencer Michels, John Tulenko, Gwen Ifill, Linda Winslow and Murrey Jacobson, Learning Matters andPBS NewsHour, PBS NewsHour Education Beat

C. Feature, News Feature, or Issue Package:

First Prize – Emily Hanford, Catherine Winter, and Stephen Smith, American RadioWorks from American Public Media, Testing Teachers

Second Prize – John Merrow and John D. Tulenko, Learning Matters and PBS NewsHour, Small Schools, Big Reforms?

Special Citation – Meredith Vieira,NBC News/TODAY, Education Nation TODAY


Lindsey Christ, Lloyd Foster, and Adi Riesenberg, New York 1 News, The Last Lesson: Inside Paul Robeson High School

D. Series:

First Prize – Steve Capus, NBC News, Education Nation

Second Prize – Lindsey Christ, Daniel Komarinetz, Ehab Zahriyeh, and Lloyd Foster, New York 1 News, Bars to Education: Reforming Reform Schools                

Special Citation – Kavitha Cardoza and Marcus Rosenbaum, WAMU Public Radio, Balancing Books and Babies

E. Investigative Reporting:

First Prize – Lindsey Christ, New York 1 News, District 16

Second Prize – Tom Farrey, Nicole Noren, David Lubbers, Ronnie Forchheimer, Dwayne Bray, Nathan Hogan, Nick Waligorski, and Marc Lustig, ESPN, Seminole Scandal  

Special Citation – Ann Dornfeld, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, Recess Disparities in Seattle Public Schools


A. Journalism blogging:

First Prize – Anna Phillips, Maura Walz, Philissa CramerElizabeth Green, and Kim Gittleson, GothamSchools

Second Prize – Valerie StraussWashington PostThe Answer Sheet 

Special Citation – Emily Alpertvoiceofsandiego.orgSchooled

B. Community blogging:

First Prize – Ruben Brosbe and Philissa CramerGothamSchoolsClassroom Tales: A Diary

Second Prize – Erika Owens, Ron Whitehorne, Molly Thacker, Caroline Ebby, James “Torch” Lytle, Shania Morris, Marsha Pincus, Dale Mezzacappa, Paul Socolar, Wendy Harris, and Helen Gym, The Notebook, Community voices from Philly

Special Citation – Anthony Cody and Valerie PientkaEducation Week TeacherEducation Frustration: A Teacher’s Response


First Prize – Karin Fischer, Eric Kelderman, and Libby NelsonThe Chronicle of Higher EducationTowns, Gowns, and Taxes

Second Prize – Sarah KarpCatalyst ChicagoRenaissance 2010: Searching for Equity


Eric HooverThe Chronicle of Higher EducationApplication Inflation

Special Citation – Paul Glastris, Richard Lee Colvin, Sarah Garland, Betsy Hammond, Dale Mezzacappa, and Thomas TochWashington MonthlySpecial Report: Fighting the Dropout Crisis