Here's what we're reading by EWA members.
This week’s collection of member stories features good examples of investigative education journalism and other watchdog stories chronicling funding, turnaround and other challenges school districts across the country are facing.
In Macon, Georgia, David Schick of The Telegraph takes readers through a timeline of his reporting on a local charter academy, which led to state probation and, more recently, the board’s decision to sever ties with the founders.
An undercover WDRB investigation in Louisville, Kentucky reveals it’s not hard for teenagers to buy dangerous synthetic drugs at local shops. Toni Konz also reports for the station that Jefferson County Public Schools has not made progress in hiring more minority teachers, despite a year-long effort. Jake New of Inside Higher Ed examines whether athletes with a criminal past deserve a second chance, spotlighting a recent case at Ohio’s Hocking College. For The Atlantic, Li Zhou looks at school dress codes and the argument that they can perpetuate discrimination against female and LGBT students.
In California, Sharon Noguchi of San Jose Mercury News reports that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are opening a private school for disadvantaged children, which will include free childcare for families with infants and toddlers. Meanwhile, in Modesto, parents are getting lessons in Common Core math, Nan Austin reports.
On the subject of funding, New Jersey state senators got an “earful” on the topic in Freehold, New Jersey, when they made their case for expanding access to preschool. Concerned citizens argued for state dollars to go toward alleviating chronic overcrowding — a measure that has not passed in local elections, Karen Yi writes for the Asbury Park Press.
North Carolina reporter Ann Doss Helms has grim data for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: Only one of nine schools in year three of a five-year turnaround effort had more than half of its students test at grade level last year, she reports for The Charlotte Observer. In Oregon, Native American students have the worst school attendance rate, Laura Frazier reports. Roughly a third of the state’s Native American and Alaskan Native student population were chronically absent last school year.
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