This Specialized Reporting Institute will address the complexities of teacher evaluation. Attendees will hear from teachers, their evaluators and people who have insight into various strategies and their effectiveness.

This institute is funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, working with The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. It is being organized by the Michigan State University School of Journalism and The Education Trust-Midwest.

“Grading the Teachers” will help journalists understand and frame the quickly changing issues of teacher evaluation, which is central to the equation of quality education. But teachers are not the only factor. There is also the interplay of budgets, administration, curricula, class sizes, job security, changing student demographics and a host of other issues.

This specialized reporting institute will examine how these factors intersect, methods being tried to support and improve teaching and issues on the horizon. Participants will learn from journalists who have covered the issue of teacher evaluation and from people familiar with how different evaluation methods work — and how they don’t.

Participating journalists will come with a project or series of stories in mind, because they will be expected to return to their newsrooms and put what they’ve learned to work.

Michigan State University has been teaching journalists for more than 100 years and has alums working in all of the major media outlets around the country. MSU is also the home to one of the nation’s top  colleges for careers in teaching and educational administration. School of Journalism faculty members Joe Grimm and Cheryl Pell are the conference coordinators.

The Specialized Reporting Institute will convene on Wednesday evening, May 8, with a reception, and conclude at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

The institute will be held at the Detroit Media Partnership, home to the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

This is one of seven issues-centered workshops being held in 2013.


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