Chalkbeat

Chalkbeat Chalkbeat is a national network of local education news websites in New York, Colorado, Chicago, Indiana, Newark and Tennessee.
Because we believe that education is fundamentally a local issue, our coverage is rooted in local communities. To date, we report from and about seven locations: Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, Newark, New York, and Tennessee.

Chalkbeat is a national network of local education news websites in New York, Colorado, Indiana and Tennessee.

Mission: Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education. We are mission-driven, in that we believe that every child deserves an excellent education, and that a strong press is vital to making that happen. Yet we are also fiercely independent, in that we do not take a position on the best path for achieving equity.

Just updated with Amy Klobuchar's plans to reissue guidance on racial disparities in school discipline that was repealed...
06/24/2019
What the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates say about education

Just updated with Amy Klobuchar's plans to reissue guidance on racial disparities in school discipline that was repealed by Betsy DeVos.

Chalkbeat's cheat sheet to what Biden, Booker, Castro, Harris, Sanders, Warren (and many more) say about pre-K, charter schools, free college, and other education issues.

Though the schools stand at the center of controversy, few graduates and parents on Saturday said they knew about the cl...
06/24/2019
Some Indiana Virtual School graduates wonder what’s next for the closing program

Though the schools stand at the center of controversy, few graduates and parents on Saturday said they knew about the closing.

Days after Indiana Virtual School and its sister school announced plans to close following a series of negative revelations, about 70 of their students graduated Saturday at a ceremony north of Indianapolis.

1,340 students went through an unusual and high-stakes initiative this year: a community-driven effort to meld two schoo...
06/23/2019
Lessons from a school merger: Race and resilience in Chicago

1,340 students went through an unusual and high-stakes initiative this year: a community-driven effort to meld two schools — racially, economically, and culturally distinct — into one.

Students on Chicago’s Near North Side lived through an unusual and high-stakes initiative this year: a community-driven effort to meld two schools.

Research finds the approach does help students graduate — but raises big questions about whether it actually helps the...
06/23/2019
Outsourcing classes to an online program may hurt student learning

Research finds the approach does help students graduate — but raises big questions about whether it actually helps them learn.

New research finds the approach does help students graduate — but raises big questions about whether it actually helps them learn.

As personalized learning has spread nationwide, philanthropic grants and enthusiastic district officials have turned thi...
06/22/2019
Is personalized learning in Chicago the future of school?

As personalized learning has spread nationwide, philanthropic grants and enthusiastic district officials have turned this city into its epicenter.

As personalized learning has spread nationwide, philanthropic grants and enthusiastic district officials have turned Chicago into its epicenter.

“When you enter this classroom, you are important,” reads the sign, which also tells students that they are leaders,...
06/22/2019
A Teacher of the Year known for her passion and humility

“When you enter this classroom, you are important,” reads the sign, which also tells students that they are leaders, thinkers, and creators. “You are loved.”

Tamara Leveridge, a sixth-grade English teacher at Ivy Hill School, has been named Newark’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

The school year is over in Newark, but a big question lingers for teachers trying to budget for summer vacations or just...
06/22/2019
With Newark teachers contract set to expire, union says deal is 'very close'

The school year is over in Newark, but a big question lingers for teachers trying to budget for summer vacations or just pay the bills: How much will they earn this fall?

The union told members this week that it is "very close" to reaching an agreement with the district on a new contract to replace the current one, which expires this month. Negotiations are likely to involve teacher raises and merit pay.

“We have some of the hardest-working people you will ever find in Indianapolis, and I’m so excited by what I know th...
06/22/2019
Interim leader Aleesia Johnson named next superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools

“We have some of the hardest-working people you will ever find in Indianapolis, and I’m so excited by what I know that we can do on behalf of our students and our families.”

Johnson’s appointment to lead the state’s largest system solidifies its high-profile transformation into a district that works hand-in-hand with charter school operators.

“When you look at this report, you start to understand the depth of what our students have to persist through in order...
06/21/2019
Could hunger be one reason Chicago students drop out of college?

“When you look at this report, you start to understand the depth of what our students have to persist through in order to get ... an education."

Food and housing insecurity may help explain why so many graduates of Chicago Public Schools still struggle with getting through college. This past school year, Chicago had its highest-ever graduation and college enrollment rates, but college persistence rates still lag.

While all children are at risk of learning loss during the summer months, research suggests low-income students face add...
06/21/2019
100 Black Men's Summer Academy swells with families who want to curb learning loss, empower students

While all children are at risk of learning loss during the summer months, research suggests low-income students face additional obstacles that can accelerate it, such as a lack of nutritional meals and safe, adult-supervised entertainment.

While all children are at risk of learning loss during the summer months, research suggests low-income students face additional obstacles that can accelerate learning loss, such as a lack of nutritional meals and safe, adult-supervised entertainment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a suite of reforms Thursday to limit lengthy suspensions, curtail student arrests, and tr...
06/21/2019
NYC is capping suspensions at 20 days, a major victory for discipline reform advocates

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a suite of reforms Thursday to limit lengthy suspensions, curtail student arrests, and train educators across the city in alternatives to strict disciplinary measures.

The reforms are among the mayor’s most aggressive efforts yet to address stark racial disparities that often ensnare students of color in the criminal justice system or at suspension centers.

During a community meeting earlier this year, parents and teachers at the elementary school were largely critical of the...
06/21/2019
Memphis literacy lab partnership canceled amid community pushback

During a community meeting earlier this year, parents and teachers at the elementary school were largely critical of the partnership.

Winchester Elementary School will instead enter the Memphis district’s Innovation Zone, a seven-year-old turnaround program that is seen as widely successful.

What's unusual about the controversy roiling NYC's schools is the stark battle lines it has drawn around issues — raci...
06/21/2019
NYC schools chancellor — and his critics — dig in as controversy over racism and integration roils NYC’s schools

What's unusual about the controversy roiling NYC's schools is the stark battle lines it has drawn around issues — racial bias and increasing integration — that in recent decades were all but absent from the policy table.

Neither schools Chancellor Richard Carranza — nor his critics — are backing down from a fight over how best to address racial inequities and segregation in NYC's schools.

A growing body of research shows students who attend preschool are better prepared for kindergarten. What's unclear is w...
06/21/2019
Children who go to preschool are better prepared for kindergarten. But is that enough?

A growing body of research shows students who attend preschool are better prepared for kindergarten. What's unclear is whether those academic boosts last after students finish their kindergarten year. (via IndyStar)

Should Indiana worry about research on long-term results to justify an expansion, or should it stay focused on getting children ready for kindergarten?

The bus route, which also transports students to a free after-school program, has been popular with parents — but it a...
06/20/2019
Detroit’s shared school bus route will expand in its second year, its backers consider its future

The bus route, which also transports students to a free after-school program, has been popular with parents — but it already has a $1.4 million deficit for the 2020 fiscal year that starts next month.

The GOAL Line, a shard school bus route that transports Detroit students to and from schools and after-school programs, is adding more schools to participate next year. As they look toward the future, they grapple with sustainability.

The past decade was a tumultuous one for Newark schools. Yet today, students are better off academically than they were ...
06/19/2019
Newark schools have made big gains since 2006, new report shows

The past decade was a tumultuous one for Newark schools. Yet today, students are better off academically than they were before.

Newark’s ranking among other high-poverty districts based on its state test scores has risen significantly since 2006. Its graduation rate has also improved.

“It makes me feel like we are teaching our students all the wrong things,” said one fifth-grade teacher. “Though t...
06/19/2019
Memphis students say they feel ‘scared’ and ‘powerless’ after Brandon Webber’s shooting death

“It makes me feel like we are teaching our students all the wrong things,” said one fifth-grade teacher. “Though they need math and reading and core subjects, they really need spaces to process and grieve the trauma that comes with these events being a regular part of their lives."

Chalkbeat asked readers to share their thoughts and reactions to Webber’s death and the protests that followed. Here’s some of what they had to say.

"In the 14 years I served as a high school principal, I found no area of professional development to be more frustrating...
06/19/2019
The New York City ed department's anti-bias training didn't feel effective

"In the 14 years I served as a high school principal, I found no area of professional development to be more frustrating, divisive, and ineffective than the sessions we held on race."

Former principal John Wenk worries that city is trying to give thousands of incredibly diverse school staff members the same lesson, and it’s not working for many of them.

NYC students would be among the nation’s biggest losers if the Trump administration succeeds in adding a citizenship q...
06/19/2019
As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs citizenship census question, more than $10 million for New York City schools hangs in the balance

NYC students would be among the nation’s biggest losers if the Trump administration succeeds in adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census.

New York City students would be among the nation’s biggest losers if the Trump administration succeeds in adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census. Arguing that the country needs additional data to enforce the Voting Rights Act, the Trump administration plans to ask for the first time...

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As a nonprofit, Chalkbeat’s support comes from a diverse mix of sources, including sponsors who pay for opportunities to share messages with our readers and donors who believe in our mission. As most local news sources shrink, creating more so-called “news deserts,” Chalkbeat is building a sustainable model that is local, substantive, and independent.

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