Liz Willen
Liz Willen is editor of The Hechinger Report and director of The Hechinger Institute. She is a former senior writer focused on higher education at Bloomberg Markets magazine. Willen spent the bulk of her career covering the New York City public school system for Newsday. She has won numerous prizes for education coverage and shared the 2005 George Polk Award for health reporting with two Bloomberg colleagues. Willen is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and an active New York City public school parent.

Q & A with author Elizabeth Green: Great teachers need ‘specialized skills and knowledge’

In her new book Building a Better Teacher, Chalkbeat CEO Elizabeth Green obsessively explores what good teaching looks and sounds like – and whether the most effective teachers are “born for the blackboard,” in her words. Green’s quest takes her to schools of education and to classrooms in the United States and Japan, where she […]

Next generation of activists confronts Mississippi’s violent past on Freedom Summer anniversary

Philadelphia, Miss. — Emily Dannenberg stepped off an air-conditioned tour bus into oppressive Mississippi heat. The white Columbia University graduate student had come to this steamy rural town last week with a mission: to mentor both black and white teenagers and help them make sense of their state’s violent and racist past. “I’d always been […]

Q & A with Dick Molpus: Anatomy of historic apology for hometown’s racist and violence past on eve of Freedom Summer anniversary

Mississippi’s former Democratic Secretary of State Dick Molpus, born and raised in Neshoba County, stood up 25 years ago at the Mount Zion Church in his hometown of Philadelphia and officially apologized to the families of the three slain civil rights workers murdered when they came to help blacks register to vote. Molpus said the […]

Why all screen time isn’t created equally

It’s a tempting thought: Put a toddler in front of a computer or video with the right program and they’ll quickly acquire skills like reading, writing and early math. The thought is so alluring that parents often ask early education teachers what the best apps are, said Lisa Guernsey, speaking at the national seminar of […]

The Learning Accelerator on blended learning: `In the future, we’ll just call it learning’

If you’ve attended a major education conference this year or follow education trends, you’ve likely heard a phrase that is creating great excitement: blended learning. The concept is gaining traction because it allows teachers to work with students at their individual level and at their own pace. Via technology, students get real-time instruction and instant […]

What’s race got to do with it? Everything, as topic eclipses ed-tech talk at NSVF Summit

SAN FRANCISCO – After two major education conferences in a row, I expected aggressive promotion of digital tools and products at last week’s NewSchools Venture Fund Summit, along with requisite promises of their potential to change teaching and learning forever. After all, I’d heard plenty of that at SXSWedu in Austin, and even more at […]

Big question for edtech: But how do we know what’s working?

As more than 900 entrepreneurs and educators converge in San Francisco this week, some will talk academic standards, literacy and charter schools. Others will bypass weighty sessions at NewSchools Venture Fund summit altogether, preferring to tinker with dozens of new tools and products that promise to “transform teaching and learning.’’ Participants can teach to student […]

What’s teaching got to do with it? Why educators want to talk tech – and help decide what works in their classrooms

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—In the flurry of deal-making and product promotion characterizing the education investment conference known as “Davos by the Desert,”  it would be easy to forget what is largely missing: classrooms, students and teachers. Except that the small number of teachers in attendance at the ASU/GSV Summit clearly made their views known – and insist […]

Where will teachers be in the classroom of the future?

An exuberant crowd of ed tech investors, entrepreneurs and their publicity staffs are converging at the ASU/GSV summit in Arizona this week, with claims that tech tools can transform education and solve the achievement gap. Venture capitalists will be out in force at the innovation summit also known as “Davos in the Desert,” and they’ll […]

Can voters force Mississippi to cough up cash and fund schools?

JACKSON, Miss. – Year after year, school officials in this poor and largely rural state say they scramble to stock classrooms with basic supplies like textbooks and pencils. They seek donations from outside groups and wonder if they’ll ever have enough money to hire coaches and classroom assistants. Now, a newly formed group is taking a fresh […]

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