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 "special education" ...

  • Back of the Class

    The multi-part investigation "Back of the Class" exposed that Washington state lags behind much of the country in its decades-old, outdated special education policies and program, leaving thousands of students with special needs without their federally mandated right to a free and appropriate education.
  • 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.
  • Denied: 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.
  • Special education students failed by state

    The Hechinger Report teamed up with The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion Ledger to investigate the many ways in which Mississippi fails its special education students. The Clarion Ledger’s Emily Le Coz spent months uncovering cases where special education students had been denied basic education rights guaranteed under federal law and instances of seclusion and restraint. The Hechinger Report's Jackie Mader and Sarah Butrymowicz investigated what happened to these students when they left high school. The majority of special education students in Mississippi leave school with an alternative diploma or certificate. Many Mississippi students who should be able to earn a regular diploma are counseled on to the alternative track by 8th grade. Many of those students didn't know that few community colleges, and no four-year universities, will accept students who have earned an alternative diploma or certificate.
  • Special Care, Unknown Costs

    The series took gave readers a look inside New Jersey's special education system. It's findings show how there is no one held accountable when students in the system fall through the cracks.
  • School of Shock

    This investigation focuses on the Judge Rotenberg Center, the only school in the country to routinely punish students with electric shocks. This investigative story is the first to reveal what day-to-day life is like in the school. The reporters found that the school's methods are not scientifically just, that students as young as eight or nine are routinely shocked for minor transgressions, and that levels of student violence remain high, though most of the violent behavior is directed to the school's staff.
  • School of Shock

    This story investigates the Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential special education school in Massachusetts that treats students' problematic behavior through the use of controversial aversive therapy -- mainly in the form of electric shocks applied to the skin. This piece traces the history of aversive techniques and explores the question of when, if ever, they are appropriate; tells the story of the school and the man who founded it; explains the tough choices facing parents who consent to getting their children shocked; and describes in detail the methods used and the concerns regulators have about them.
  • Not So Special Ed?

    This investigation revealed how a little-known piece of Ohio legislation gave millions of tax dollars to a handful of charter schools for special education. The story showed that the money did not go toward providing services for students with special needs. The largest recipient of funds was caught undercounting its students so it could avoid hiring more employees.
  • Neediest students crowd worst schools

    Fertig and News Director John Keefe found that students with special needs, including special education and English as a Second Language, were being "dumped" into the worst and most crowded New York City public high schools.
  • Special Cases

    This investigation shows how the Bakersfield City School District failed to make accomodations for a "violence-prone, emotionally disturbed eighth grader." The student ended up literally breaking his teacher's back, before school officials recognized that he was a danger to others.