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 "public education" ...

  • Arizona Republic: The Charter Gamble

    Reporting by Craig Harris, starting in the spring, revealed one questionable deal after another with Arizona charter schools, as his reporting detailed how the industry had created millionaires through insider deals. By the time lawmakers were calling for reforms, The Arizona Republic built a team to take the next big bite. The deep dive by Harris, along with Anne Ryman, Justin Price and Alden Woods, spun out a five-part series that told the story of Arizona’s charter schools from inception to present day.
  • Chicago Public Schools' Fuzzy Math

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has bragged about the Chicago Public Schools graduation rate improving. But records show his numbers are inflated. Is CPS cooking the books? The Better Government Association investigates the graduation rate, and other claims made by the Emanuel administration about public education improvements in the city, and finds that the math doesn't always add up.
  • Chicago mayor's miracle graduation rates inflated

    As Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran for a second term, one of his main talking points was that during his first term graduation rates at the city's high schools shot up by 10 percent. But the rates he touted were inflated. The Better Government Association and WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio found that thousands of dropouts were wrongly labeled as transfers. Because of these reports, Emanuel and his school leaders were forced to revise down the graduation rates.
  • 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.
  • Trouble in Mind

    Brandi Grissom spent nearly six months investigating the life, trial, conviction and incarceration of Andre Thomas. The six-part series explores the intersections of the mental health and criminal justice systems in Texas through the case of Andre Thomas, a death row inmate who began exhibiting signs of mental illness as a boy and committed a brutal triple murder in 2004. Blind because he pulled out both of his eyes while behind bars, Thomas awaits a federal court's decision on whether he is sane enough to be executed. The series examines the gaps in the Texas mental health system: holes in public education, the troubled juvenile justice system, underfunded mental health care services for adults, unprepared prisons and the still-developing jurisprudence around brain science. In addition to producing six in-depth stories, Grissom partnered with data reporters in the newsroom to produce interactive graphics that helped readers understand that disparities in the mental health system. She also partnered with the graphics team to create a comprehensive interactive timeline that detailed the tragic events of Thomas’ life, his crime, and his case with court documents and photos.
  • Louisiana's Education Reform: A Leap of Faith

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, State Superintendent John White and a carefully chosen state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education wanted agressive change in public education and they were willing to do anything to make it happen. They financed campaigns, lobbied legislators, and ignored the input of educators who said the plans wouldn't work. But, they couldn't ignore Barbara Leader, a reporter for a small newspaper 200 miles away from the state capital who, one story at a time, revealed flaw after flaw and got the attention of the entire state. State officials threatened Leader and attempted to prevent publication of article after article. Through this series, Leader established our paper and herself as a credible source for education news and gained a statewide reputation for being tenacious and fearless.
  • The Robert Felner Investigation

    Dr. Robert Felner was raided by federal agents his last day as the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development University of Louisville. He was to become Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Parkside but was under question about a $500,000 grant.
  • Charter School Investigation

    Charter schools were created to bring educational innovation. Instead, some operators used the schools for private gain. Findings of this Philadelphia Inquirer series include high salaries that surpassed what was paid to district superintendents; operators collecting multiple salaries; operators hiring unqualified family members at high salaries; operators creating other entities to do business with the charter so they could collect additional funds; operators acting as charter school landlords and using the money to buy property for other businesses; operators running a charter through a for-profit company that gets all revenue and keeps the surplus.
  • Michigan's Education Time Bomb

    This story examines the loopholes and cost of the state's school retirement system. The system is forcing program cuts and layoffs.