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Holiday reading: A Chalkbeat guide to 2015 stories you shouldn't miss

Alan PEtersime

Education news usually slows down dramatically at the end of December, so it’s a Chalkbeat tradition to take some time off. Barring breaking news we won’t be publishing new stories until Jan. 4.

But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to read here if you find yourself drawn to your phone or computer out of habit.

Here are three places you can go to read some of Chalkbeat’s best, most informative, stories from 2015:

Our all-time top 10 list: Back in October, Chalkbeat Indiana celebrated its second anniversary. While we were looking back, we decided to pull up a list of our 10 best read stories of all time. The list wasn’t exactly what we expected.

It was an interesting mix of stories you’d probably expect — about big education topics like testing, funding and politics — and stories that might surprise some, like high school racial tension and, um, snow days? Find the full list here.

Everything you ever wanted to know about schools, but were afraid to ask: Do you harbor an education knowledge gap secret? Perhaps you smile and nod when people talk about charter schools but you don’t actually know how they work or where they came from? Do you feel like you really ought to understand better what Indiana’s school funding debate is all about, but every time you try to study up on it you just get a headache? Or maybe you’ve been wondering, what exactly is the Indianapolis Public School Board up to with its plan for school autonomy?

We’ve got you covered, and the holiday break is a perfect time to get caught up. From the very beginning, Chalkbeat Indiana has published an occasional series of “basics of” stories to explain the general background of the key education issues facing the state. These stories are extremely popular with our readers. We recently added two new ones, looking at the IPS autonomy plan and the debate over teacher shortages. But we’ve also updated the complete list of 21 basics stories. Find them all here.

Meet some of the interesting people we’ve gotten to know: One of the great perks of being a Chalkbeat journalist is that our work introduces us to many fascinating people. Some of them have inspiring personal stories and we’ve been thinking about how to share more of them with you. Partly inspired by the blog Humans of New York, this month we launched a new series called What’s Your Education Story? So far we’ve asked five educators to tell us their stories in their own words.

We knew you’d find these people as inspiring as we did, but it’s also interesting how their personal education journeys give insights into big issues we often write about, such as the struggles of children to overcome barriers to learning like poverty and learning disabilities, the impact of small magnet programs and questions about why preschool teachers aren’t paid more. Read all their stories here.

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