A year ago today, Chalkbeat Indiana launched to bring the Hoosier state its first nonprofit news website focused entirely on education, and it’s our plan to be here for a long time.
To our many dedicated, daily readers, we’d like to celebrate by simply saying thank you. To those who perhaps came by to check out the education site with the funny name after hearing about us from a friend, welcome! As you probably already know, Chalkbeat is a growing national network of education news sites — for now, in Indiana, New York, Tennessee and Colorado — whose mission is to report on educational change efforts in the communities where improvement matters most.
In the last year, Chalkbeat Indiana:
- Built an amazing team of three outstanding journalists — Shaina Cavazos, Hayleigh Colombo, and me — covering education at the state level and in Marion County, at a time when other news organizations are reducing their education coverage.
- Informed voters about their choices in the upcoming school board election by launching an interactive tool about the candidates and their positions and by co-hosting a forum this Thursday with the competitors. You’re invited!
- Provided deep, contextual coverage of big education stories that have put Indiana in the national headlines, including the state’s rejection of the Common Core, its embrace of a new teacher evaluation system, and the ongoing battle for control of the state’s education policy between State Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Gov. Mike Pence.
- Went beyond the headlines and into the classroom to examine change efforts — including innovative programs, parent-led movements and the work of teachers to adapt — at the ground level.
- Produced a series of explainers about the education issues that matter in Indiana. For background on the issues, start with our story about why Indiana matters, then click through to some of our 14 recently updated “basics” stories about key issues facing the state.
- Grew the support of foundations, sponsors, and individual donors who believe in the power of high-quality, independent, local education journalism. Here’s how you can support us.
In the next year — and beyond — we plan to continue hosting live events to inform our readers and bring them together, find new ways to learn from and respond to our readers, and of course keep churning out great coverage of the policy changes that are quickly transforming education in Indiana.
Thanks for reading, send us story ideas and suggestions or leave a comment with your feedback, and keep coming back for the most extensive coverage of education issues in Indiana!