The Failure Track
Investigative Reporting: General News Outlets, Print and Online

About the Entry

Facing accountability pressures, some public schools farm out struggling students to alternative programs with inadequate academic instruction and harsh learning environments, an investigation by ProPublica and The Teacher Project finds.

Entry Credit

  • Heather Vogell, Reporter, ProPublica
  • Hannah Fresques, Data Reporter, ProPublica
  • Sarah Carr, Editor, The Teacher Project
  • Francesca Berardi, Reporter, The Teacher Project
  • Zoe Kirsh, Reporter, The Teacher Project
  • Stephen Smiley, Reporter, The Teacher Project
  • Al Shaw, News Apps Developer, ProPublica
  • Olga Pierce, Deputy Data Editor, ProPublica

Comments from the Judges

“This project was a thorough examination of how some schools were funneling marginal students into alternative charter schools to boost their graduation numbers. The reporting combined a deep data with student stories, and the voices of parents, teachers, advocates and administrators.”

“Education reporting at its finest – highlighting how state and federal policies shortchange our neediest students.”


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