Tags : federal data

Federal education data highlights rising college costs for low-income students

If you’re shopping for a college, forget the published sticker price. Just like airline passengers on the same flight, students on the same campus can pay vastly different rates.

And on the whole, those rates are increasing faster for the poorest students.

That’s what a Dallas Morning News analysis of federal education data found this year. In a project with the Hechinger Report, we examined four years of data showing what students actually paid, based on their family income. We produced several stories and an online search tool called Tuition Tracker.  

The inequity was most glaring at the ...

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Fire data helps show scope of arsons

Convicted arsonist Kenneth Allen paused for a moment during an interview in front of our television cameras at his Muncie, Ind., home. Then he offered a remarkable admission.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think: ‘Man, I was a monster.’ I’m just thankful no one was hurt,” said Allen, who had spent nearly four years in federal prison.

Allen helped lead a ring of 46 men and women who were convicted of setting at least 73 home and vehicle fires and collecting at least $3.8 million in insurance payouts – the largest known ...

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Detecting lobbying in White House visitor data

A few weeks after I returned from an IRE and NICAR boot camp earlier this year, I got a copy of proposed changes to a rule for fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – for oil and gas on public land that was being developed by federal regulators.

Just about every change to the Bureau of Land Management fracking rule had gone the way the oil and gas industry had wanted.

After I wrote a story about that, I still had a question – what led to all the proposed changes? To figure that out, I turned to the White House Visitor Access Records ...

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Grave Mistakes in SSA Master Death File

Scripps Howard News Service's "Grave Mistakes" project was born out of a failed voter-fraud investigation in 2008 and some offhand remarks by data-savvy colleagues at the NICAR conference in Raleigh, N.C., this year.

What we ended up with was a fascinating story of how simple typographical errors by a huge federal bureaucracy can have a frightening impact upon the lives of everyday Americans. Members of Congress have begun inquiries as a result of this project.

Journalists for many years have used the Social Security Administration's ominously titled "Death Master File" database since it is supposed to list ...

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Stats analysis shows school opportunity gap

ProPublica’s recent Opportunity Gap project brought together reporting on an important education issue – whether low-income students in public schools have equal access to advanced classes - statistical analysis and way-cool interactive tools.

The project used a new set of Department of Education data that tracked enrollment in advanced classes and special programs in public schools. This data is known as the Civil Rights Data Collection, which is compiled by DOE’s Office of Civil Rights.

The idea came from ProPublica education reporter Sharona Coutts, who got an early copy of the OCR data and wanted to see if there was ...

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