Chalkbeat

Chalkbeat Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization. Our local bureaus cover schools in New York, Colorado, Chicago, Detroit, Indiana, Newark, Philadelphia, and Tennessee.

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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.

Operating as usual

Last week, Democrats in Georgia won two Senate runoffs, and with them, unified control of Congress and the presidency. T...
01/13/2021
Democrats’ Senate win could mean more money for schools

Last week, Democrats in Georgia won two Senate runoffs, and with them, unified control of Congress and the presidency. That shift doesn’t guarantee more money is coming for schools — but it makes it a whole lot more likely. Here's why.

An additional round of aid could have a big impact on schools’ ability to help students close academic gaps with initiatives like tutoring or longer school days.

“While losing a sports season in the bigger picture may not seem like a big deal, in the day-to-day, there’s pain. And f...
01/12/2021
NYC student athletes, coaches lament the loss of school sports

“While losing a sports season in the bigger picture may not seem like a big deal, in the day-to-day, there’s pain. And for a lot of coaches I know, it’s depressing,” said Marc Skelton, the coach who's led the Panthers for almost two decades. “A lot of players have worked their whole lives for this moment.”

New York City student athletes face a school year without sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Educators and others have sharply criticized Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to proceed with reopening school campuses w...
01/12/2021
Chicago reopened its schools Monday. Can they stay open?

Educators and others have sharply criticized Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to proceed with reopening school campuses when she extended the city’s stay-at-home advisory. But Lightfoot insisted that she sees no contradiction: Schools are considered an essential service.

Chicago officials face some powerful headwinds in the coming weeks as the district moves to bring back more students.

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual ...
01/12/2021
Report details sexual misconduct cases targeting Chicago students

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse posed as a volunteer with the JROTC program at several district schools. He made sexual comments to students, engaged in unwanted physical contact, and offered to perform gynecological exams on them.

In its first full year of handling such cases, the Office of Inspector General fielded 430 allegations.

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual ...
01/12/2021
Report details sexual misconduct cases targeting Chicago students

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse posed as a volunteer with the JROTC program at several district schools. He made sexual comments to students, engaged in unwanted physical contact, and offered to perform gynecological exams on them.

In its first full year of handling such cases, the Office of Inspector General fielded 430 allegations.

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual ...
01/12/2021
Report details sexual misconduct cases targeting Chicago students

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse posed as a volunteer with the JROTC program at several district schools. He made sexual comments to students, engaged in unwanted physical contact, and offered to perform gynecological exams on them.

In its first full year of handling such cases, the Office of Inspector General fielded 430 allegations.

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual ...
01/12/2021
Report details sexual misconduct cases targeting Chicago students

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse posed as a volunteer with the JROTC program at several district schools. He made sexual comments to students, engaged in unwanted physical contact, and offered to perform gynecological exams on them.

In its first full year of handling such cases, the Office of Inspector General fielded 430 allegations.

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual ...
01/12/2021
Report details sexual misconduct cases targeting Chicago students

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse posed as a volunteer with the JROTC program at several district schools. He made sexual comments to students, engaged in unwanted physical contact, and offered to perform gynecological exams on them.

In its first full year of handling such cases, the Office of Inspector General fielded 430 allegations.

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual ...
01/12/2021
Report details sexual misconduct cases targeting Chicago students

In one case detailed in the report, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse posed as a volunteer with the JROTC program at several district schools. He made sexual comments to students, engaged in unwanted physical contact, and offered to perform gynecological exams on them.

In its first full year of handling such cases, the Office of Inspector General fielded 430 allegations.

The Detroit school district hopes to resume in-person learning by early to mid-February if the number of COVID-19 cases ...
01/11/2021
The Detroit district targets February to restart in-person learning

The Detroit school district hopes to resume in-person learning by early to mid-February if the number of COVID-19 cases in the city declines significantly.

The Detroit school district hopes to resume in-person learning by early to mid-February if the number of COVID-19 cases in the city declines significantly. Online classes resumed Monday.

Tennessee teachers, school staff, and child care workers must wait for COVID-19 vaccinations until after people age 70 a...
01/11/2021
Tennessee pauses teacher vaccinations for COVID as older adults get priority

Tennessee teachers, school staff, and child care workers must wait for COVID-19 vaccinations until after people age 70 and older receive their shots. The new directive pauses the inoculations of educators, which already had begun in many rural counties.

The change could affect how soon schools go back to classrooms full-time.

After intense opposition from the teachers union, Chicago Public Schools opened its buildings for students today for the...
01/11/2021
Seven things to know as Chicago reopens schools

After intense opposition from the teachers union, Chicago Public Schools opened its buildings for students today for the first time since schools closed in March. Here's what you need to know.

Despite intense opposition from the teachers union, Chicago Public Schools opened its buildings to teachers on Monday for the first time since schools closed in March.

01/11/2021
Chalkbeat Colorado

We're getting started! Come join us ⬇️

Join Chalkbeat Colorado for our annual discussion of key education topics likely to surface during the upcoming legislative session.

Teachers, child care workers, and other educators in Michigan can begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine starting today.
01/11/2021
Michigan teachers can get COVID vaccine beginning Monday

Teachers, child care workers, and other educators in Michigan can begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine starting today.

Michigan officials say that the more people who get vaccinated, the better off the state will be.

Thousands of pre-kindergarten and special education students in Chicago are reporting to school today after nearly 10 mo...
01/11/2021
Chicago schools reopening news: the latest

Thousands of pre-kindergarten and special education students in Chicago are reporting to school today after nearly 10 months of closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow along on our live blog ⬇️

Chalkbeat Chicago is tracking the news on school reopening in Chicago.

“They were very angry about the ways their communities were treated," high school teacher Jake Boeri said of his student...
01/09/2021
Capitol riots force NYC teachers to adapt their lessons in real time

“They were very angry about the ways their communities were treated," high school teacher Jake Boeri said of his students. "A lot of them were saying, ‘If we were there, Latinos and Blacks, we would have been killed.'"

As America’s grip on democracy slipped, New York City educators were once again tasked with helping students navigate a tragedy as it unfolded.

" ... as adults, don’t we have an obligation and responsibility to tell them, not only is there a counselor down the hal...
01/08/2021
‘You literally just did history’: Colorado’s teacher of the year wants students to understand the power of bearing witness

" ... as adults, don’t we have an obligation and responsibility to tell them, not only is there a counselor down the hall you can talk to, but to say, ‘Hey, yeah this stuff sucks. It sucks so bad. What are you thinking about? How can I help you process this?’”

Gerardo Muñoz asked his Denver high school students to reflect on the events at the U.S. Capitol.

Today, teachers once again found themselves trying to explain a tumultuous turning point in our nation’s history, just a...
01/08/2021
Witnessing history: Teachers and students left looking for lessons after insurrection

Today, teachers once again found themselves trying to explain a tumultuous turning point in our nation’s history, just as they did following the initial uncertainty of November’s election, the unrest after George Floyd’s killing, and at the start of the pandemic. Here's how they did it.

Scrapping lesson plans, teachers became facilitators and sources for correcting misinformation.

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Chalkbeat launched in 2013 to address an alarming collision: the business model for news was collapsing during a period of dramatic upheaval in American education. Read about what's in store for our network of bureaus in the next 5 years: chalkbeat.org/about/strategic-plan/

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Chalkbeat launched in 2013 to address an alarming collision: the business model for news was collapsing during a period of dramatic upheaval in American education. In particular, local news faced an existential threat just as public education — which is inherently local — was undergoing transformation in how schools were governed, funded, and assigned students.

Six years later, Chalkbeat is one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in America, reporting on the most critical topics in education across seven states. We have published thousands of stories and spurred real-world changes in every state where we operate, from the shuttering of a flagrantly mismanaged virtual school in Indiana to the abolishment of a high-school admissions method in New York City that penalized low-income families. We’ve won 60 local and national journalism awards and mobilized 1,345 donors and sponsors to support our work.

While Chalkbeat has expanded, the local news crisis has accelerated, leaving Chalkbeat with a formidable challenge: We are chasing growing demand for high-quality local education news at a time when resources for news have never been more scarce.

The task is daunting, but our unique model — a nonprofit newsroom covering a single topic in multiple locations — represents a promising path forward. By accepting the economics of the internet and using them to our advantage, we have mobilized new and diverse sources of support for an essential public good. We’ve reimagined what local news can be as we’ve rebuilt it, elevating a subject that was previously a stepping-stone beat for rookie reporters, treating readers as partners, and focusing exclusively on the education story that matters most: the almost 30 million children in America who live near or below the poverty line.

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