Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Akron Beacon Journal Launches Investigation of Ohio’s Charter Schools | janresseger

Akron Beacon Journal Launches Investigation of Ohio’s Charter Schools | janresseger:

Akron Beacon Journal Launches Investigation of Ohio’s Charter Schools

On Sunday, a long article appeared in the print edition of Cleveland Plain Dealer, the launch of an investigation of Ohio’s 393 charter schools.  The reporters phoned or faxed each of the state’s charter school to begin to create a data base.  Reporters asked: Who runs the building? Who is that person’s supervisor? Is there a management company and what company is it? Who serves on the school’s school board? How can we contact the school board?  When does the board meet?   (The full story appears in Sunday’s Akron Beacon Journal, though its printing cannot be traced to the Plain Dealer, because cleveland.com, the newspapers on-line edition, does not post all articles that have appeared in print.)
The reporters identified themselves as representing NewsOutlet.org, a journalism collaborative of the University of Akron, Youngstown State University, and Cuyahoga Community College with the Akron Beacon Journal, the Youngstown VindicatorWYSU-FM Radio (Youngstown State), and Rubber City Radio (Akron).  Why did the print-edition of Cleveland’s Plain Dealerpick up the story?  Some of the journalists at NewsOutlet.org are studying journalism here in Cleveland at Cuyahoga Community College.  And not only did Rubber City Radio and WYSU carry it, but so did WKSU (Kent) and public radio’s State Impact Ohio news service.
The new investigation is clearly a creative strategy of  Ohio’s most progressive newspaper on matters that affect public schools.  Doug Oplinger and his partner Dennis Willard were the top investigative reporters on Ohio school vouchers and on the DeRolph school funding case all through the 1990s.  Oplinger is now the Beacon Journal‘s managing editor.  In an interview Monday with WKSU (Kent State), Oplinger said that the data base being created byNewsOutlet.org will be “used by parents, researchers, policy makers and reporters to track the