Separate – And Still Unequal
A Day of Learning & Dialogue on the Future of Public Schools
Offered in partnership with the Education Writers Association
It has been more than 60 years since the Supreme Court of the United States offered this opinion: “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
Does anyone in America still believe that is true? What is the evidence in your home town?
If you are a journalist writing about education, you have a duty to take a hard look at the schools in your community and to ask some tough questions: Have our schools drifted back toward segregation? Has the separation of the races created an inequality in public education that leaves generations of students way behind? What can we do about it?
This Poynter workshop will help you answer those questions. Apply today to “Separate — And Still Unequal,” and you’ll learn from Poynter Vice President and Senior Scholar Roy Peter Clark and award-winning journalists who’ve covered this issue for the Baltimore Sun, New York Times Magazine, NPR and the Tampa Bay Times, including the team that won a 2016 Pulitzer Prize.
The legal, political and social forces at work on the quality of education are varied and complex. White flight to more affluent suburban schools made integration less likely. Black parents grew weary of seeing their children bear the burden of busing.
Discarding court-ordered busing as a remedy – along with the development of magnet schools, fundamental schools, charter schools, and vouchers – has left certain public schools in jeopardy, especially in the poorest neighborhoods. A combination of poverty and segregation has had devastating results. Students perform terribly on state assessments. The achievement gap between white and black children grows. Few remedies seem to work.
To help journalists who cover education, we have created an intensive, one-day workshop. It is designed to guide reporters in their coverage of schools that provide separate and unequal education for students of color in their communities.
- How to create comprehensive coverage that holds the district accountable
- How to assess the resources that students are receiving in different communities to find out who is being left behind – and why
- Best practices in project planning, interviewing, data journalism and data visualization
- How to gather and present convincing anecdotes, using storytelling to build the case
- The most effective methods of reporting, writing, and editing that all journalists can use to cover public education
- How to frame reports in terms of specific categories of trouble: weak test scores, poor discipline, inability to recruit and keep teachers, lack of leadership
- How to cover education, not as a silo, but through the prism of other institutions: health care, criminal justice, city government
- A solutions-based approach to the story, in which news organizations inform and push for reform
- How to open doors for stakeholders to seek solutions
- How to create the environment in which stakeholders in a community can come together to discuss and solve these problems
You will meet and learn from reporters who won a Pulitzer for covering this issue in St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay Times’ coverage also won the EWA’s grand prize in the National Awards for Education Reporting. That team includes:
* Michael LaForgia
* Cara Fitzpatrick
* Lisa Gartner
Joining them will be:
* Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times, formerly of NPR, who also won the grand prize in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting for her coverage of segregation.
* Diana Sugg, who is leading a team of journalists exploring a solutions-based approach to this story at the Baltimore Sun, with support from an EWA Reporting Fellowship.
Throughout the day, discussion will focus not just on the schools but on community and societal issues that play a role in these problems and can factor in the solutions. Lunch will feature a Community Conversation — “Together We Can: Collaborating on School Turnaround.”
Who Will Benefit:
Journalists who cover education from all media platforms, including print, online and broadcast, large markets and small. We will look for journalists who declare an intent to pursue serious reporting on this topic in their communities.
The Poynter Institute, 801 Third Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida
Here is the tentative workshop agenda.
The workshop will be at The Poynter Institute, 801 Third Street S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Workshop details will be sent to those selected to attend.
Cost and Deadlines
Thanks to the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, tuition for this workshop is free. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging. Limited travel stipends are available thanks to those funders and to the Ford Foundation. Applications for travel scholarships are due Jan. 12, 2017, and are included in the seminar application. We’ll accept seminar applications until Feb. 6.
Successful seminar applicants will receive an email with information on the conference hotel, where you’ll make your own reservation from our block of rooms. We expect room fees for the hotel, within walking distance of Poynter, to be $125-$150/night if booked by the deadline provided.
Email us at email@example.com.