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 "schools" ...

  • Toxic City: Sick Schools

    Children in Philadelphia public schools endure environmental hazards -- deteriorated asbestos, damaged lead paint, festering mold and rodent droppings -- that deprive them of a healthy place to learn and thrive. In reaching our major findings, we conducted 175 scientific tests at 19 elementary schools at a cost of nearly $9,000, built a custom database to analyze more than 250,000 room-by-room environmental records, and interviewed more than 120 teachers, parents, students and experts.
  • 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.
  • Food Plight: Cafeteria Inspections Reveal Critical Health Violations at New York City Schools

    Our reporters scoured reams of health inspection records and discovered that nearly half of New York City public school cafeterias were hit with at least one critical violation in 2017. A closer look found that the four dozen schools with the worst inspections records largely serve some of the city’s poorest students. The most sickening cases include schools where 600 rodent droppings and 1,500 flies were found in food preparation and consumption areas – conditions that are breeding grounds for potentially dangerous food-borne illnesses. Our team of students conceived of the story and used the data, obtained from the New York City Health Department under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, to create a filterable interactive graphic that parents can use to uncover details of violations found at their child’s school.
  • 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
  • How Texas Keeps Tens of Thousands of Children Out of Special Education

    In “Denied,” the Houston Chronicle revealed that a group of Texas state officials had arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should receive special education services and had enforced the benchmark by intensely auditing school districts for “over-identification.” The effort, which began in 2004 but was never announced and remained completely unknown outside of district special education departments, saved the state billions of dollars but denied critical help to tens of thousands of children with disabilities. As a result, the Chronicle reported, Texas now provides special education services to a lower percentage of its students than any other state in the country – by far. If Texas gave services at the same rate as everybody else, more than 250,000 more children in the state would be receiving services such as tutoring, counseling and therapy.
  • Testing the Waters

    "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.
  • Campus Undercovered

    In an investigative mini-series, the NBC News Investigative Unit undertook a deep look at an array of new and under-covered issues on college campuses. It included a first-of-its-kind investigation for a national broadcast network questioning whether on-campus sexual assault tribunals are violating due process rights, including those of alleged perpetrators. It featured a multi-month, nation-wide investigation of college mental health policies, uncovering a trend of students claiming that they have been suspended or expelled for seeking help with mental health issues. It also brought viewers a rare, frank look inside the world of prescription “smart drug” abuse. In each case, these stories triggered pointed responses from the schools involved, sometimes resulting in tangible changes in the lives of the students featured, with potentially significant implications for other students in similar situations.
  • Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Investigating DCS

    This in-depth investigation uncovered serious safety concerns inside Dallas County Schools (DCS), a government agency responsible for transporting more than 75,000 students to school each day in the Dallas Fort Worth area. http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Dallas-County-Schools-Investigative-Series-401118835.html
  • Making the Grade

    This continuing NewsChannel 5 investigation exposed questionable testing and grading practices inside one of the most highly applauded school districts in the nation. Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) had earned high praise – dubbed a “District of Distinction” – for its turnaround efforts.