President Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary caused quite a stir. Betsy DeVos barely passed her senate confirmation hearing, sparking protests from teachers and education advocates across the country. Their biggest complaint? Her support of something called school vouchers or scholarships. These programs give students public money to attend private schools. On this week’s episode, we talk with Orlando Sentinel reporter Leslie Postal about her on-the-ground look at Florida’s program, one of the largest in the country. Leslie, along with colleagues Annie Martin and Beth Kassab, visited 35 schools, dug through thousands of pages of documents and looked beyond the political debate to the people most affected: parents and students.
Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Read the three-part series “Schools Without Rules,” an investigation by the Orlando Sentinel
- Watch the Orlando Sentinel’s video about the investigation
- Explore their interactive map of the private schools the reporters visited
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “Education Beat Toolbox” by Chastity Pratt Dawsey
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “Watchdogging K-12 Education” by Eva Parks
- Want to learn more about investigating education? Check out our earlier episode “Not-So-Special Education” with Brian Rosenthal
Drifting Spade (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Borough (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Bad Scene (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Little Dipper (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Tweedlebugs (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Thirteens (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Erin McKinstry reported this episode. IRE Editorial Director Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. Blake Nelson draws our episode art. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.