October 9th, 2014

More than 100 for-profit colleges are so dependent on taxpayer money that they’d be violating the law if not for a loophole, according to a never-released analysis by the Department of Education we obtained.

Taxpayers spent $9.5 billion on these schools in 2012 alone. Get the full story.

February 14th, 2014
There’s just a mind-boggling amount of money per student that’s being spent on administration.

Andrew Gillen, senior researcher at American Institutes for Research. 

As the New England Center for Investigative Reporting reveals, the number of non-academic administrative and professional employees at U.S. colleges and universities vastly outpaced the growth in the number of students or faculty in the past 25 years. 

Read the full story. 

February 13th, 2014


More than 40 percent of the New York City’s public schools start lunch by 10:45 a.m. Learn more about the data review by WNYC and the Daily News here, and let us know when your child eats lunch

We’ve also made our version of the data available as a CSV file here.

As we reported last year, the length of school lunches can also be a problem for students to get the nutrition they need: Across California, schools face a number of challenges in carving out enough time for kids to eat.

Reblogged from Data News
August 15th, 2013

Young poets at Brave New Voices give real talk on economic inequalities of gentrification and education in their communities: 

"So basically they’re saying, alright, so you got to go to school, right? You got to make money somehow. And the only way to make money in this economy is to get a college degree, right, ‘cause that’s what we’re taught. So we’re raised up until senior year…and we realize that yo, you’re going to be more in debt from your college loans than from house loans and credit card loans combined…for the rest of your career, basically. 
So then they say, alright, alright, you got that. So here are your two options: You can go to college, be in debt. Or, you might as well go to the military. You’re already in the streets. You’re already fighting. You’re already playing Call of Duty. This is your option, right here. 
So that’s what I think the violence stems from: that the only way to live is to be violent. The only way to survive in this economy for poor folk is to be gritty…to be dirty to steal whatever you need to steal. And that’s the problem.” 
Follow them on Tumblr: Off/Page Project 
June 17th, 2013
May 29th, 2013

School ended for Michael Garcia with a routine transfer from juvenile hall to adult county jail. There was no fanfare, diploma or cap and gown. He hadn’t graduated or dropped out.

He’d simply turned 18.

For the next 19 months, he was in limbo, unable to receive the high school diploma that he’ll need for most jobs and to attend college. Despite being eligible for special education under state and federal laws – Garcia has a learning disability, an auditory processing disorder and a speech and language impairment – in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, he was a student that no one wanted to teach.

California and federal laws allow students with disabilities to receive special education until age 22. But the laws are vague enough that deciding who should provide that education is unclear.

The problem: In court documents, L.A. Unified said that because there’s no law specifically assigning school districts to provide special education to inmates, the state Department of Education is responsible. The state, on the other hand, said it provides special education services only if it finds local agencies are “unwilling or unable” to do so – a circumstance that it said was not the case for students in Los Angeles County jails.

More: In California, incarcerated students fall through gaps in special education laws

May 13th, 2013


An end to zero tolerance for willful defiance in L.A. schools?

California schools have long brought about swift punishments for instances of so-called willful defiance, which have disproportionally led to suspensions of many minority students not just in our home state, but nationwide.

Take the case of Damien Valentine, a Manual Arts Senior High School sophomore fighting against the practice, who says that several such punishments earlier in his school accomplished nothing but setting him back.

So just what is “willful defiance?”

That offense is now widely criticized as an arbitrary catchall for any behavior a teacher finds objectionable, such as repeatedly tapping feet on the floor, refusing to remove a hat or failing to wear the school uniform. It accounted for 48% of 710,000 suspensions issued in California in 2011-12, prompting both state and local efforts to restrict its use in disciplinary actions.

A resolution moving through Los Angeles County would make L.A. Unified the first school district in California to ban suspensions for the aforementioned offenses.

Said Tonna Onyendu of the Liberty Hill Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit:

“This will be a transformational shift. Instead of punishing students, we’re going to engage them.”

Read more on the matter in

Christina House / For The Times

Reblogged from Los Angeles Times
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At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at http://cironline.org/