Senior Producer and Correspondent
Emily Hanford has been working in public media for more than two decades as a reporter, producer, editor, news director and program host. Her work has won numerous honors including a duPont-Columbia University Award and a Casey Medal. In 2017, she won the Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. Her groundbreaking podcast episode on why children aren’t being taught to read (Hard Words) was a winner of the inaugural Public Service award from EWA in 2019. Emily is a member of the EWA Journalist Advisory Board and a longtime mentor for EWA’s “new to the beat” program. She is a frequent speaker and moderator. Emily is based in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a graduate of Amherst College.
There may be nothing more important in the educational life of a child than having effective teachers. But the United States is struggling to attract and keep teachers.
A mother and her dyslexic daughter tell their story. It's a preview of an upcoming documentary from APM Reports.
Are we asking too much of America's high-poverty schools?
There are proven techniques to help children with learning disabilities, but can affected kids get what they need in public schools?
Strap on your cowboy boots: A new investigation by the Houston Chronicle finds that Texas has denied special education services to thousands of kids in the state.
The nation's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but high-poverty schools face a stubborn challenge. Schools in Miami and Pasadena are trying to do things differently.
A system meant to give college students a better shot at succeeding is actually getting in the way of many, costing them time and money and taking a particular toll on students of color.
In 1987 an educator frustrated with American school reform challenged Outward Bound to get more involved in the debate about the direction of public education. He thought American schools could learn from Outward Bound's focus on experiential learning and on teaching skills like resilience and collaboration.
One of the features of education at many Expeditionary Learning schools is an Outward Bound trip. See photos of one of these trips and read an interview with two principals about why they send their students outside and how it relates to what they’re trying to do in the classroom.
Early in his life, Kurt Hahn had a vision of the kind of school he wanted to create, and it was nothing like the school he went to. It would be a school designed to help kids discover their interests and passions, not just prepare them for tests. And it would be a school devoted to character development.
There's a lot of talk these days about the importance of traits like grit, curiosity, and self-discipline — so-called "non-cognitive skills." How can schools teach those skills? Correspondent Emily Hanford explores the approach to character development at one school in Massachusetts.
This documentary explores the "Expeditionary Learning" approach, traces the history of ideas that led to its inception, and investigates what American schools could learn from its success.
In the United States, teaching isn't treated as a profession that requires extensive training like law or medicine. Teaching is seen as something you can figure out on your own, if you have a natural gift for it. But looking for gifted people won't work to fill the nation's classrooms with teachers who know what they're doing.
In 1993, a group of researchers set out to do something that had never been done before. They would hire a videographer to travel across the United States and record a random sample of eighth-grade math classes. What they found revealed a lot about American teaching.
Research shows good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they're on the job.
At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education.
Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.
Teachers in Reno, Nevada, were skeptical of the Common Core at first. But they have embraced the new standards as a way to bring better education to students who are struggling in school -- and to kids who are ahead.
New York teacher Kevin Glynn was once a big fan of the Common Core, but he says the standardized testing that's come along with it is reducing students to test scores and narrowing what gets taught in schools.
The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school.
In the United States, education standards come with tests. Most students haven't been tested on the Common Core yet. But in one state where they have, the controversy is so intense that it's threatening to bring down the Common Core altogether.
The Common Core is a big change for public schools, but most Americans know little about it. Learn what Common Core is, where it came from, and why it’s become so controversial.
Pick up the newspaper or check out social media and you're going to find plenty of opinions about the Common Core. Decide for yourself what you think by reading the standards themselves.