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Editor in Chief

Liz Willen

Liz Willen, a longtime education reporter, has been proud to lead an award-winning staff of The Hechinger Report since 2011. She was recently honored for commentary writing by the New York Press Club. Liz got her start in newspapers as feature editor of Northport High School's "The Rag," in Northport, New York and worked at an array of New England newspapers before covering New York City public schools for New York Newsday. She's a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a board member for the Spencer Education Fellowships at Columbia. Liz is a sought-after moderator at education conferences and events, has been an active New York City public school parent and recipient of the “Above and Beyond,” award by the media company City & State for exemplary leadership. She hates jargon.

Recent Stories

High school students from Jackson Public Schools gather to discuss ways to improve district schools at Jackson Convention Complex in Mississippi last week.

Report outlines long road ahead for Jackson Public Schools

Improving services to students with disabilities, retaining teachers, top goals for district

New York City Schools Chancellor Harold Levy talks on the phone in his office in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday, May 11, 2000. Levy, head of the country's largest school system, is pushing music and poetry in a system plagued with rats, guns and crumbling school buildings.

Remembering former NYC Schools Chancellor Harold Levy: A champion for children and a real mensch

Levy did many things in life, but most loved being chancellor

Clarissa Santana is a mother of three who is frustrated when she returns to college at the University of Akron and learns her credits from a for-profit school don’t transfer. She tells her story in the new documentary “Unlikely.”

Two new documentaries showcase a long and winding road to college

‘Personal Statement,’ and ‘Unlikely’ hit the film festival circuits with stories of real-life obstacles and struggles

As states push for new ways of learning, some kids and parents feel left behind

More school districts embrace big changes, but students in Maine say: ‘We want our grades back!’

Damian Lopez, 4, gives Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boabserg a high-five as he arrives for the first day of school at Escalante-Biggs Academy on August 20, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

Take a closer look at those back-to-school photos: Is something missing?

School photos provide a snapshot of segregated schools from across the country

Dartmouth freshmen Daniel Inoa and Natan Santos had uncomfortable moments as they were told: “You look suspicious.”

After a tough but promising freshman year, Dartmouth student tackles change at elite campuses

Moments of cold, loneliness — and missing the merengue

Filmmakers filmed inside a Chicago high school for one year to produce the

When the future of learning prompts uncomfortable discussions

Education needs honest talk about racial disparities

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho talks with a school board member after he announced he will turn down a job offer to become head of the New York City schools on March 1, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Mr. Carvalho made the announcement to not become New York City's schools chancellor during an emergency School Board meeting that had been called to discuss the news of the job offer.

Analysis: Children first? Once again, egos and politics obscure education issues

Miami-Dade superintendent spurns chance to lead NYC schools

Along with demonstrators, supporters of President Donald J. Trump showed up for the opening day of the new civil rights museum; one supporter looks at a list of those who were lynched. 

Never mind Trump’s visit — Mississippi’s new Civil Rights Museum is a real game changer for education

State’s racist history revealed in unsparing detail: ‘It hurts my heart’

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house is seen near Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. University President John Thrasher announced the indefinite suspension of the school’s 55 fraternities and sororities following the death of a freshman pledge. Andrew Coffey, a pledge at Pi Kappa Phi, died Friday after he was found unresponsive following a party.

Are hazing, sexual assault, drinking and unabashed racism inevitable on campus?

Despite horrifying new incidents and a scathing new book on Greek life, college presidents find change elusive

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