Journalists are very good at exposing problems. We uncover the truth, expose corruption and shine a light on the data.
The reporting at Idaho Education News is focused on Idaho’s public education system, where student achievement has stagnated over the years and continues to lag behind national indicators of performance and success.
Our reporting has at times exhausted readers who feel powerless to effect positive change.
We want to do better. We will continue to seek the truth and expose the problems, but in our series to be published next week, we are supporting investigations with in-depth and rigorous reports on what’s going right. It’s called “solutions journalism” — writing about data-backed strategies in teaching and learning that can be replicated.
Our weeklong series — “Fighting the effects of poverty: Solutions for educating all kids” — identifies a pervasive problem in education, how poverty affects learning and achieving. But the series also shows the adverse trend can be broken. We traveled to high-poverty, high-performing schools in Montana, Washington, Nevada and Idaho to share their stories of success. We also share their challenges and the tradeoffs that come with change.
Our work on this series is supported by a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network, a New York nonprofit that seeks to rebalance the news so readers are exposed to stories that show potential ways to respond to problems and challenges.
Our report is not prescriptive. We don’t have the answers to what works in unique Idaho communities, schools and homes. What we can do is empower parents, patrons and leaders with knowledge of practices that are working so more Idahoans can participate in conversations about education reform.
Please contact me with your ideas and questions.
— Jennifer Swindell, managing editor at Idaho Education News