Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "board of education" ...

  • Laurel Prep Academy

    Adults squabbling over money, power and basketball…all while the kids they claim to be helping lose out. Our year and a half investigation into the Laurel Prep Academy and its parent organization the Laurel Boys and Girls Club prompted the state board of education to shut down the school, the state comptroller to launch an investigation, the city to hold emergency hearings and the club to fire its leadership and replace its entire board of directors.
  • The Rise and Fall of a Patrón

    Our investigation showed how powerful political alliances helped United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) grow from a community group into a multimillion-dollar enterprise operating 16 taxpayer-funded charter schools, a janitorial firm and other businesses. We found a lack of oversight of charter school finances and operations cleared the way for alleged abuse. Specifically: UNO received more than $280 million in public money over the past five years but neither Chicago Public Schools nor the Illinois State Board of Education closely monitored how funds were spent. A large portion of the public money UNO collects goes to management fees, debt service and consultants rather than classrooms.
  • Ohio Board of Education

    In a unique collaborative effort, the Akron Beacon Journal and The NewsOutlet student journalism lab researched and published an investigative series on the Ohio State Board of Education, a body responsible for oversight of the education of 1.8 million school-age children and spending of $9 billion in public money. One board member has resigned due to a conflict of interest exposed by the project, and newspapers are calling for the resignation of another. We discovered a third member is a recipient of public education dollars and may be using them illegally. That story is in progress. We continue to receive letters to the editor and are told that complaints may have been filed with the state inspector general or ethics commission, neither of which will comment. The project also exposed a massive gap between board ideology on school choice and public/research opinion, leading to a larger examination of school choice in Ohio in 2014.
  • Texas Schools/Racial Divisions

    This was a 6-part series reported and written by students at The University of Texas at Austin and published in The Dallas Morning News (in print and online) and in Reporting Texas (an online news site at The University of Texas at Austin). The series examined the "resegregation" of public schools -- and how little had changed in public schools since the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in the 1950s ordering the end of segregated classrooms. The groundbreaking work involved deep dives into data, pressing public officials for accountability, exploring the inequities in the public education system.
  • Stats and Lies

    Each year the Houston Independent School District hands out reports to parents of how their students have done on the all-important end of term state tests. These tests are supposedly designed as grade level tests. But the passing rates are phased in – after a state Board of Education panel checks to see how many kids would pass at each level and if it would be too many who fail, the passing rate is adjusted accordingly.
  • Hidden Violations

    Illinois is the second to last state in "the rate at which it suspends or revokes teaching certificates." Often reports of misconduct are not acted upon or investigated. Its screening system is also flawed and "has repeatedly allowed convicted sex offenders and other violent felons to be certified to teach."
  • Ethics questions follow P'ville BOE dealings

    "School board contracts in Pleasantville, NJ were intertwined with officials getting campaign funding and personal jobs from contractors, resulting in conflicts of interest and probable violations of the law."
  • Unnatural Selection

    The author investigated controversial Kansas Board of Education member Connie Morris. As a conservative board member she made it her mission to 'reclaim sex education'. The investigation shows that she herself lived a promiscuous life. Detailed in an autobiography, she embraced the free sex revolution, having affairs with married men and politicians, using drugs and basically living a life incompatible with her vocal viewpoint. When questioned about this she refused to comment. The reporter also revealed how she had told lies about opponents during her campaigns and abused some of her privileges as an elected official.
  • School Bus Bloat 2005

    For over fourteen months the reporters investigated the Cleveland Municipal School District's transportation department, producing 25 stories. The reports examined extensive waste of resources, mismanagement, and fraudulent use of inflated data. Reporter Tom Merriman used records, surveillance video, and interviews with ex-employees to document the district was inflating rider numbers to get more funding. School administrators blamed the mid-level bureaucrat they fired, but Merriman used internal documents to show he was ordered to inflate the numbers. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of dollars were being spend on luxury coaches for athletes. The investigation lead to the resignation of a top official in the organization.
  • Early Exit: Denver's Graduation Gap

    This five-day series from the Rocky Mountain News examines the extremely high dropout rates among Denver's public high school students. The series follows the progress of some students in the school system, but also takes a look at the lives of those students who didn't make it to graduation.