Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education. We are mission-driven, in that we believe that every child deserves an excellent education, and that a strong press is vital to making that happen. Yet we are also fiercely independent, in that we do not take a position on the best path for achieving equity.
Because we believe that education is fundamentally a local issue, our coverage is rooted in local communities. To date, we report from and about seven locations: Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, Newark, New York, and Tennessee. (If you’d like to see Chalkbeat come to your community, let us know.) Read more about our history and mission here.
As a nonprofit, Chalkbeat’s support comes from a diverse mix of sources, including sponsors who pay for opportunities to share messages with our readers and donors who believe in our mission. As most local news sources shrink, creating more so-called “news deserts,” Chalkbeat is building a sustainable model that is local, substantive, and independent.
At Chalkbeat we value:
1. One essential story: We believe that all children deserve access to a quality education — one that prepares them for the duties of citizenship in a democracy and connects them to economic opportunity. We are passionate about cultivating the expertise and constant curiosity necessary to tell the vital and nuanced story of education in America with authority.
2. Power in independence: Our unique impact as journalists lies in our ability to tell the full and complete story, without consideration of profit, ideology, or advocacy. We can tell the truest story, and make the greatest possible difference, if we take no predetermined position on how to achieve better schools. We work hard to build a business model that safeguards our independence.
3. Going local: We don’t do flyovers and never parachute in. We put down roots in the communities we cover and work with our readers as well as for them. We cover local people, institutions, and systems like they’re as important as the president, because in education, they are.
4. Impact: Writing stories is not enough. We are on a mission to get the full truth to the maximum people at the moments of greatest consequence. We do everything we can to bring stories, people, and stakes alive for readers so they can engage in informed action and debate.
5. Openness and diversity: We write about people who have historically lacked access to a quality education. In doing so, we hope to amplify their voices and help empower them. We won’t succeed unless our team and our reporting represent and are truly open to the communities we cover.
6. Investing in ourselves: We strive to connect every member of our team with the opportunities and challenges they need to learn and grow. We can only tackle our audacious goal if we invest in our team’s ability to achieve it.