To understand inequities in public education, you need to dig into data, get into schools, and talk to people who are trying to overcome obstacles and level the playing field.
Today, as part of a collaboration with the nonprofit investigative news organization ProPublica, we are launching a series of stories looking at how educational opportunities can vastly differ depending on where you live and the color of your skin.
The project is called Miseducation. Our partners at ProPublica took data primarily from the U.S. Department of Education to build an interactive database that allows you to see school-level racial disparities in enrollment, discipline, access to Advanced Placement courses, gifted and talented programs, and more.
We used that data as a springboard to do what Chalkbeat does best — tell the stories of educational inequity in the communities we cover and call home.
In the New York bureau, that meant examining the city’s push to hire additional guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists, and whether it’s delivering on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to combat the effects of poverty in schools.
People who work in the city’s schools say they’re starting to see that money make a difference, but also report more is still needed — especially at a time when the challenges facing many students, such as homelessness, are growing.
Not only did we team up with ProPublica, the bureau’s own reporting staff collaborated, with Christina, Alex and Reema all sharing a byline on our counseling story here.
As always, we welcome feedback and ideas for stories you’d like to see us pursue.
--Sara, New York bureau chief