Joe Hong is currently the K-12 education reporter at CalMatters, where he’s written about California education policy and politics since 2021. He covered the return to in-person learning following the first years of the pandemic and the resulting crises of learning loss and staffing shortages. He also reported on the various iterations of political polarization in public education from masking and vaccine mandates to math instruction. His collaborations include an in-depth investigation into how California’s school districts are spending COVID-19 relief funding.

Prior to joining CalMatters, Joe was the education reporter at KPBS, the public media station in San Diego, where he covered the first year of the pandemic and the immediate impact on students with disabilities and rural schools. Before that he covered education for The Desert Sun, a daily newspaper based in the Coachella Valley. His work focused on educational disparities and juvenile justice issues in the Southern California desert.

As a Spencer Fellow, Joe will examine the social and economic forces that have shaped math education in the United States with a focus on the role of Asian-American parents in the so-called “math wars.”