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 "students" ...

  • Lessons Lost: How student churn holds back students and schools

    Erin Richards’ reporting launched a massive undertaking by a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to obtain and analyze never-before-released state data that tracked student-by-student movement among Wisconsin schools. The data and reporting illustrated not only the extent of student churn in schools -- something that had never been comprehensively tracked through Wisconsin’s public and private schools that accept students on vouchers, and also not tracked nationally -- but also the causes and consequences through the stories of individual families and schools.
  • Gunshots and Lockdowns: When Nearby Gun Violence Interrupts The School Day

    The piece focuses on how daily gun violence affects schools in Washington, D.C. What happens when students go to school in areas with a high rate of gun crime? To avoid emotional harm, we took a secondary data analysis approach to answering that question — pulling gunshot data from D.C.'s Shotspotter database. We then calculated the number of gunshots within a 1,000-foot radius of schools, and used the geography of the city to begin to find our way to an answer.
  • 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.
  • WRAL: School arrests

    WRAL's analysis of federal education data found that black students in North Carolina are arrested at schools or school functions six times as often as white students. That disparity is one of the worst in the nation.
  • Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: Undemocratic

    An investigative reporting class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison investigated the state of Wisconsin's democracy. It found that partisan gerrymandering, voter restrictions, secret campaign money, furtive legislative moves and fast-tracking of bills increasingly leave Wisconsin's citizens in the dark when it comes to state policy making and spending.
  • The Deerfield Scroll: Gender discrimination and sexual violence alleged at elite boarding school

    Two respected teachers - also husband and wife - left our school abruptly with little public explanation. I investigated their departure and learned that the female teacher had filed an explosive lawsuit against my school alleging a years-long pattern of sexual discrimination and of alleged sexual violence against female students. I was under tremendous pressure by some faculty members and others to drop the story but I was determined to get it published so that my school could confront the serious issues raised in the litigation.
  • STARZ's Fail State

    Executive produced by news legend Dan Rather, FAIL STATE investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C. that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. Combining five years of research and interviews from over 60 experts, policymakers, whistleblowers, and students defrauded by their colleges, director Alexander Shebanow presents a searing exposé on the for-profit college industry and the lawmakers enabling widespread fraud and abuse in American higher education. FAIL STATE debuted on STARZ on December 17th, 2018.
  • Silenced: 1.5 Million Florida Felons Without a Vote

    “Silenced: 1.5 Million Florida Felons Without a Vote” is a television news special that raised awareness about the large amount of the state’s population that is ineligible to vote due to a prior felony conviction. The news special outlined the subjectivity in current way in which Florida restores felon’s voting rights, highlighted a proposed state amendment that would automatically restore voting rights to most Florida felons, and featured prospective voters discussing the issue after watching the special as a group.
  • SCNG: Bad Apples

    SCNG's special report on teacher misconduct at a local school district found that district administrators ignored signs and complains of inappropriate behavior by teachers and in some cases outright abuse of students for years. Reporters Joe Nelson and Scott Schwebke spent months interviewing dozens of sources, scouring thousands of pages of documents and reviewing more than 100 hours of recorded interviews and depositions with victims, witnesses and parents. Their reporting has led to a state investigation into the district's handling of misconduct complaints and sweeping reforms within the district itself.
  • Role of Obama-era school discipline policies in Parkland massacre

    Most news media neglected a huge part of the Parkland school massacre. They did so by focusing largely on the roles played by gun laws and mental illness in Nikolas Cruz’s rampage. Paul Sperry went against the grain, in a series of reports for RealClearInvestigations that exposed a central factor in the horror: an Obama-era push that made school discipline more lenient across the country because of concerns that minority students, especially African-Americans, were being disciplined at much higher rates than other Americans. Sperry was the first to report, and to comprehensively detail, this broad and ultimately misguided effort to end the “school to prison pipeline.”