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About Chalkbeat

Essential education reporting across America

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 eight locations: Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, Newark, New York, Philadelphia and Tennessee. (If you’d like to see Chalkbeat come to your community, let us know.) Read more about our history and mission.

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. View our current supporters and learn more about becoming a sponsor.

Our Values

Our mission demands that our readers and sources alike be able to have the utmost confidence in the accuracy of our journalism; the fairness of our reporting process; and the independence of our news judgments from the influence of advocates and financial supporters.

One way we protect our commitment to accuracy, integrity, and independence is by actively designing a business model that relies on diversified streams of support. Our revenue sources include major donations from foundations and individuals; contributions from readers; paid sponsorships that appear on our website and email newsletters; paid sponsorships of our live events; and a paid jobs board. We believe the more diverse our revenue sources, the more solid our independence and the stronger our prospects for long-term sustainability.

In addition to building a business model that bolsters our independence, we have also adopted a code of ethics to govern the conduct of our team members and those we work with.

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. Antiracism: We acknowledge and condemn the ongoing legacy of racism in U.S. public education and in the institution we are part of, the press. We commit to standing against racism as we build our organization and conduct our work.

6. 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.

7. 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.

Our Leadership

Photo of Chalkbeat’s leadership team.
From left to right (top): Elizabeth Green, Co-Founder and CEO, Nicole Avery Nichols, Editor in Chief, Jennifer Bramble, Chief People Officer, (bottom) Bene Cipolla, Publisher, Alison Go, Chief Strategy Officer, Kendra Irving, Chief Financial Officer.

Elizabeth Green, Co-Founder and CEO

Nicole Avery Nichols, Editor-in-Chief

Jennifer Bramble, Chief People Officer

Bene Cipolla, Publisher

Alison Go, Chief Strategy Officer

Kendra Irving, Chief Financial Officer

Our Boards

Meet our Board of Directors

Photo collage of Chalkbeat’s board of directors.
From left to right (top): Jill Barkin, Elizabeth Green, Shani Hilton, Kang-Xing (KX) Jin, (bottom) Sue Lehmann, Gideon Stein, Karen Wishart, and Roberto Yañez.

Jill Barkin, Board Member, Director of Education at the Beacon Fund

Elizabeth Green, Board Member, CEO & Cofounder of Chalkbeat

Shani Hilton, Board Member, Deputy Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times

Kang-Xing (KX) Jin, Board Member, Vice President of Engineering at Facebook

Sue Lehmann, Board Chair and Cofounder, Trustee at New Vision for Public Schools, Teach for America, Strive National Partnership, and Teaching Works

Gideon Stein, Board Treasurer, CEO of Write Label, President of the Moriah Fund

Karen Wishart, Board Member, EVP & Chief Administrative Officer at Urban One

Roberto Yañez, Board Member, President and General Manager, Univision Local Media

Meet Chalkbeat’s reader advisors

In addition to our Board of Directors, Chalkbeat also has a dynamic and diverse reader advisory board that guides our coverage, holds us accountable for meeting our goals, and helps us build strong relationships in the communities we cover. If you’re interested in joining the board when the next opening becomes available, please apply here and contact us.

Current members:

Janine Scott, our reader advisory board chair, is a high school math teacher at Davis Aerospace High School in Detroit.

Sanda Balaban is a civic educator based in New York City.

Aisha Brown is a home visitor and community advocate based in Detroit.

Pam Glynn is an education consultant based in Chicago.

Amber Gonzalez-Cortes is a multilingual instructional coach based in Gypsum, Colorado.

Dr. Nancy Hernandez is a bilingual specialist in higher education and scholarship access for first generation and Latino students based in Denver.

Alli Lee is a learning experience designer and strategist based in Dallas, Texas.

Cynthia Masson is an active public school parent of two children based in New York City.

Catherine Miller is an administrator of a public middle school in the Bronx, New York.

Dorie Turner Nolt is a communications consultant and a former education journalist based in Washington, D.C.

Christopher R. Rogers is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and is based in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Cesar Roman is a parent, advocate, and community organizer based in Indianapolis.

Dr. Alexios Rosario-Moore is an assistant adjunct professor of urban education policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Benecia Tuthill is a retired senior leader and education consultant based in Memphis, Tennessee.


Financial Reports


Annual Reports


MORI: Chalkbeat’s Platform for Tracking Impact

In 2014, Chalkbeat developed and started using a WordPress plugin for tracking impact. We called it MORI — Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence. As we wrote then, MORI grew out of one of our key beliefs: Journalists can make a difference, but the ability to measure the difference we make can multiply our impact over time. If we can document how, why, when, and where we made a difference, we are more likely to repeat our success.

The latest version of the MORI Impact Tracker is now available as an open source release, a WordPress plugin free to download and install today.

We hope this release continues the public conversation around how news organizations can track and report impact, and look forward to working with developers from other organizations as we continue to develop the MORI Platform.


Nominate Your Community

Chalkbeat is an innovative new model for local journalism about a topic that matters. Right now Chalkbeat works in eight cities, with reporters on the ground producing daily coverage of education. We want your help picking our next community! To nominate your community, email us at expansion@chalkbeat.org.