Photo of Tara García Mathewson

Staff writer

Tara García Mathewson

Tara García Mathewson is a staff writer. She launched her journalism career with two award-winning pieces co-produced during a three-month stint at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, WA. After graduating with honors from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she joined the staff of the Daily Herald, Illinois’ third largest newspaper, where she covered city government and education in Chicago’s suburbs. There she was on a team that earned a Chicago Headline Club Lisagor Award for a series tied to the 40th anniversary of Title IX. García Mathewson left the daily grind of newspapers to spread her wings as an independent journalist, covering national education issues, immigration policy, Chicago’s Latino business community and more. She received the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Equal Voice Journalism Fellowship in 2014 and the Education Writers Association Reporting Fellowship in 2017. García Mathewson lives in Boston. She grew up in rural Western New York, where she and her sister once waited for the bus for a very long time in more than a foot of snow because it didn’t occur to her family that school might be canceled.

Recent Stories

“Tired of fighting that fight”: School districts’ uphill battle to get good deals on ed tech

Would price transparency keep districts from spending more than they have to?

Online work has become a classroom staple for students around the country, but hundreds of thousands are still locked out because of inadequate internet connections.

Federal penny pinchers keeping rural schools from the internet

Federal E-rate money could bring these high-speed connections to rural schools, but funding is elusive

Eunice Millán prepares to measure the force of friction in a physics lab at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey, which requires all students to take physics to graduate.

One reason students aren’t prepared for STEM careers? No physics in high school

A shortage of physics teachers limits physics-taking, which limits the number of physics teachers

While most books are still just text on a page, augmented reality books can bring words and stories to life.

When reading a book means more than just looking at text on a page

With augmented reality books, students can see vocabulary come to life.

Schools collect reams of data that could help teachers make decisions in the classroom, but getting all that data into one system, formatted the same way, is a pressing challenge for districts.

School data is messy, but it doesn’t have to be

A drive to make data ‘interoperable’ could unlock the promise of classroom innovation in the digital age

A new research project aims to figure out why particular ed tech initiatives succeed or fail. Students in a Chicago charter school work on tablets during class.

Don’t ask which ed tech products work, ask why they work

A new research venture aims to help schools find the best educational technologies for their circumstances

Third-graders at Alamosa Elementary School in Albuquerque practice reading with first-graders in Carrie Ramirez’s classroom.

Students can’t learn if they don’t show up at school

Districts are paying more attention to “chronic absenteeism” in their efforts to improve student learning

Kelly Pollack works with a student in CICS West Belden, a Chicago charter school that uses multiage classrooms as part of its personalized learning model.

Rethinking grade levels and school design for personalized learning

A Chicago school’s openness to multiage classrooms gives both students and teachers extra choice and support

Following the lessons of learning science in schools isn’t convenient

Making schools more personalized, while creating more work, would better conform to what’s known about the science of learning

Schools in rural Appalachia struggle to provide counseling services to students, and the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative has sought to fill the gap with an online resource.

Rural schools find an online resource to fill gaps in mental health services for students

Fewer behavioral problems in class and fewer mental health referrals to outside agencies after using the program