New York

Rise & Shine: With homelessness on the rise, New York City schools look to counselors, social workers and other support services for more help

Good morning!

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.

Other stories in our series can be found on this page, and there’s more to come in the days ahead. You can check out ProPublica’s database, and sign up for its “Big Story” newsletter here.   

As always, we welcome feedback and ideas for stories you’d like to see us pursue.

--Sara, New York bureau chief


TRIAGING NEED Although the city has made strides toward providing more counselors in New York City’s schools, those who work on the frontlines with students say many needs are still going unmet. Chalkbeat

TESTY In Albany, New York’s top education policymakers raised concerns about whether the state is doing enough to address persistent racial gaps on state exams. Chalkbeat

RECORD HOMELESSNESS Roughly one in ten public school students in New York City are homeless, a record high, according to state data released by Advocates for Children of New York. The New York Times, NY1

BOROUGH BEATING ODDS In Staten Island, the rate of homeless among students has declined slightly. SILive

STICKER PRICE The real price of attending public and private colleges is flat and has even fallen in some cases, as colleges give away more scholarships and fewer students pay the full sticker price. The Wall Street Journal

DIVIDED WE FALL In the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, race continues to define who has access to opportunity and who doesn’t, in another story that draws on ProPublica’s data compilation and analysis. The New York Times

OPINION: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION An Asian-American Harvard alum argues against the lawsuit challenging the admissions practices at his alma mater. The New York Times