CPS Secretly Overhauled Special Education at Students’ Expense
Investigative Reporting: Broadcast

2017 EWA Award Finalist Banner image

About the Entry

Chicago Public Schools used a secret manual to curtail access to special education, meaning some of the neediest students didn’t receive the full services to which they were entitled, according to an investigation by WBEZ public radio in Chicago.

Entry Credit

  • Sarah Karp, Reporter, WBEZ Chicago
  • Kate Grossman, Senior Editor, WBEZ Chicago

Comments from the Judges

“As often happens with these type of stories, the station received a backlash from the school district, but Sarah Karp’s management kept steady backing for this important story, [which] could negatively affect thousands of children for years to come. This is what I call public service reporting at its best.”

“Solid reporting on a district’s secret overhaul that limited the education for some of the city’s most vulnerable students. Reporting and investigation drew me in the more I listened.”


EWA is grateful to the College Board for its generous support of the 2018 National Awards for Education Reporting.