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Joe Hong

Education Reporter

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Joe Hong has spent the past two years covering education for national and local publications. Most recently, he covered three school districts for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs. He has written about school finance, negligence in special education, and school board misconduct. Previously, he covered equity issues and historically black colleges and universities for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Before a career in journalism, he was pursuing a doctorate in comparative literature at Rutgers University. He pivoted to journalism in 2016 and earned a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2017, specializing in investigative reporting. In September 2019, he completed The Data Institute, a two-week workshop for journalists of color taught by ProPublica in collaboration with the Ida B. Wells Society.

Recent Stories by Joe Hong

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

The Black Student Experience In San Diego Unified Is Better, But Still Needs Improvement

Feb. 26
By Joe Hong

While the district has seen significant success in graduation and college readiness rates, suspension rates remain disproportionately high.

Four students sitting at desks 6 feet apart as ...

San Diego Unified Expands In-Person Instruction With Learning Labs

Feb. 22
By Joe Hong

Teachers are working with up to 14 students per class, prioritizing students with disabilities and those who’ve fallen behind during distance learning.

The Montgomery Middle School sign is pictured, ...

Study: Black Students Still More Likely To Face Harsh Discipline

Feb. 17
By Joe Hong

New research published Wednesday shows that disproportionate rates of suspensions and expulsions for Black students continues in San Diego Unified and across the state.

The San Diego Unified School District headquart...

New Reopening Guidelines For Schools Unveiled

Feb. 12
By Joe Hong

San Diego Unified officials signaled optimism for a partial return to campuses in the coming months while the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced updated guidance.

The Poway Unified School District's main office.

Poway Educators: Students Are Safe, Happier In First Week Of In-Person Instruction

Feb. 5
By Joe Hong

As case numbers gradually decline, the district deemed it safe to resume hybrid instruction at elementary schools. But middle and high schools will need to wait longer.

Eli Chery-Davenport, 5, plays with blocks. Jan....

Couple Alleges San Diego Unified Wrongly Denied Special Ed Services To Their Son

Feb. 4
By Joe Hong

Specialists agree that Eli Chery-Davenport is hearing impaired. But the district has thus far refused to keep him in its deaf and hard-of-hearing program, his parents say.

A man walks by a COVID-19 testing sign at UC Sa...

COVID-19 Cases Drop At UC San Diego After Post-Holiday Surge

Jan. 27
By Joe Hong

University officials plan to avoid another spike after spring break by creating incentives for students to stay on campus rather than go home during the break.

Edie Evans, a fifth-grader at San Diego Unified...

Vaccine Delays And High Case Rates Diminish Hopes For School Reopenings

Jan. 22
By Joe Hong

District and union officials in San Diego County say widespread in-person learning is unlikely even if teachers get vaccinated.

The Poway Unified School District's main office.

COVID-19 Surge, Staff Shortages Prompt Poway Unified To Delay Reopening

Jan. 15
By Joe Hong

While there have been no outbreaks on campuses, district officials said individual cases among staff have resulted in up to seven coworkers having to quarantine.

San Diego Unified School District superintenden...

San Diego Unified School District Resumes COVID-19 Testing Program With Plans To Expand

Jan. 13
By Joe Hong

The county’s largest district eventually hopes to test all 100,000 of its students every two weeks once they return to campuses.

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Stories featuring work by Joe Hong

Storm clouds over Ocean Beach, November 19, 2019.

Santa Ana Winds, Warmer Temperatures Expected In San Diego County

Jan. 6, 2020
By City News Service

Gusty winds are expected in San Diego County Monday and could prove hazardous for high-profile vehicles traveling through mountains passes, according to the National Weather Service.

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis wear...

County Requires Face Covers By May 1, Concerns Rise About Mexico and COVID-19

April 24, 2020
By City News Service

The first order will allow ocean access from city beaches for the above-mentioned activities. Piers, boardwalks and parking lots are still closed to the public, and the order does not include boat ramps or watercraft. It also does not apply to state parks and beaches. It also leaves the decision of beach closures to the cities.