Oregon’s ‘Class of 2025:’ Meet the Middle Schoolers

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s multi-year series follows students, families from first grade through high school. (EWA Radio Episode 262)

Imagine keeping tabs on the same group of students and families for nearly a decade — Oregon Public Broadcasting has done it, and plans to keep going through the next four years. OPB editor Rob Manning and education reporter Elizabeth Miller share stories from the cast in this project, which is supported in part by an EWA Reporting Fellowship. Among the surprising plot twists: a big jump in screen time is changing how kids communicate and build friendships, and some Black students say they prefer learning at home where they worry less about encountering racism. How did the OPB team’s plans for the current season of its podcast  series adapt amid the COVID-19 pandemic? What are teachers doing to keep their students engaged, and keep tabs on those who are struggling academically and emotionally? And what are lessons for other education journalists looking to build trust with students, parents and teachers?

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