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 "high school" ...

  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • Twice Abandoned: How schools and child-welfare systems fail kids in foster care

    Foster kids graduate high school and go to college at a much lower rate than other groups of children. The federal government is trying to help these young people from falling behind, but many states aren’t doing their part. We look at how schools and child-welfare systems are each failing the foster youth in their care.
  • Toxic Legacy Sites in New York State

    Three stories focused on the toxic pollution that still lies underneath the surface -- long forgotten but still potentially harmful.
  • SF Chronicle: Risky Retreats

    An expose of the questionable, potentially dangerous methods that have been employed for decades at immersive, days-long “leadership” retreats held for high school teens across the U.S.
  • CNN Investigates – The Parkland Shooter

    In the hours after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, CNN began scrubbing the background of Nikolas Cruz, based on source information that he was the shooter. Working nearly around the clock, using public records requests, interviews on the ground, and a vast social media dive, CNN was able to quickly piece together a profile of a disturbed teenager who was obsessed with guns.
  • Alternative schools bear the brunt of student deaths in Chicago

    This investigative story shines a light on why Chicago students who’ve died are most likely to attend an alternative school and the lack of resources these schools have historically been provided by Chicago Public Schools to help students cope with the deaths of their classmates and other traumas. While many stories have focused on how Chicago’s gun violence hurts children and teens, this story used never-before-published data and more than 50 interviews to examine how gun violence is impacting the education of some of the city’s most vulnerable students. Public alternative high schools are often considered schools of “last resort” that take in children who’ve had discipline, attendance and academic issues in their prior schools. It’s often where students with gang affiliations and safety concerns are sent. And it’s where students are most likely to die.
  • The Swoosh Effect

    Our investigation exposed the insidious role of sneaker money in amateur basketball, offering new and damning examples of how companies such as Nike corrupt youth sports. Our reporting found that: Nike helped the family of Marvin Bagley III, a top-ranked recruit, move from bankruptcy into a gated community; Nike offered special perks to the star of its Portland grassroots team; Nike strategically offered apparel contracts to nearly all big Oregon high schools, costing the company $1 million annually; and the NCAA weakened rules for tracking shoe money in order to minimize transparency.
  • Two-Hour Diploma

    “Two-Hour Diploma” started with a late-night hotline tip in February of 2018. Ten months later, at the time of this entry, the shock waves it produced continue to reverberate throughout the state of Maryland. Using deep dive, old-fashioned investigative journalism, this series produced results. A Baltimore high school was shut down after Fox45 enrolled an undercover student who received a diploma in two hours. Multiple state investigations were launched leading to other schools being shut down. Lawmakers, including the Governor, promised legislative action in Annapolis when session opens in January. And Fox45 jumped right through the massive loopholes this investigation exposed by opening our own church and school – right under the state’s nose. Two weeks after filing the paperwork, Good News Academy was certified and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. As all this was unfolding, investigative reporter Chris Papst was sued by a school operator and physical threats were made against Papst and Fox45 for which the police were called. In an effort to stop the investigation, Fox45’s sources were threatened with violence and had their property vandalized. “Two-Hour Diploma” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation of education in the Baltimore area.
  • Minnesota's Graduation Gap

    MPR News set out to delve into an underreported fact -- that Minnesota’s high school graduation rates for students of color rank among the very worst in the nation -- and ended up making a profound discovery: Minnesota devotes less to non-classroom student support than any state. The category includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses and mental health counselors, attendance staff and other positions that education experts says are key to keeping students at risk of dropping out of school on the path to graduations. The link between support spending and graduation rates appears to be stronger than other oft-mentioned factors to explain low rates for students of color. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/06/01/grad-gap-highlights
  • Minnesota's Graduation Gap

    MPR News set out to delve into an underreported fact -- that Minnesota’s high school graduation rates for students of color rank among the very worst in the nation -- and ended up making a profound discovery: Minnesota devotes less to non-classroom student support than any state. The category includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses and mental health counselors, attendance staff and other positions that education experts says are key to keeping students at risk of dropping out of school on the path to graduations. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/06/01/grad-gap-highlights