You might have noticed some changes around here. After more than five years as GothamSchools, we have changed our name to Chalkbeat New York — the latest step in our efforts to serve you the most relevant news about education policy and practice in the loveliest possible package.
Since first announcing the creation of the Chalkbeat network a year ago, we’ve opened bureaus in Tennessee and Indiana, grown our staff in New York, and launched a morning newsletter. (Please subscribe if you haven’t already.) Now, we’ve also redesigned our website to improve your reading experience.
NY.Chalkbeat.org is pretty different from the small-but-mighty blog we launched in 2008. You can still look at all of our content in one place in the Chalkbeat Wire, but you can also see the biggest news of the moment at the top of our homepage. We’ve also built tools to help you understand the context behind the stories you read: You can now look for “The Backstory” beside articles or navigate by narrative rather than by date. And we’re publishing detailed guides about the big issues in New York City schools, from the Common Core standards to teacher evaluation to the new goal of “college and career readiness.” More Chalkbeat Explains guides are coming soon.
All of the enhancements join the features that you know and love: We will continue to bring you regular news, analysis, informed commentary, and our daily Rise & Shine roundup of New York City school news. (That will always be at the top right of our homepage.) We won’t end the day with Remainders anymore, but we will continue to point out interesting links through our What We’re Reading feature, and we’ll also keep planning offline events to build community around our coverage. (Next up: a happy hour on Jan. 16.)
All of this comes at an exciting period of change for the city’s schools. A new administration has signaled that it wants to make big changes to the largest school system in the country. We plan to cover the rhetoric, action, and inaction and keep policymakers and education professionals accountable.
To do that, we have selected three areas of focus that each of our reporters will cover deeply for the year: implementation of the Common Core, admissions and enrollment, and teacher evaluations. We’ve chosen these focus areas because they are areas of dynamic — or potentially dynamic — change that matter to many people who interact with the city’s schools every day and have implications for educational improvement efforts far beyond New York City.
Our stories will be strongest if we get your help. Here are a few ways to pitch in:
First, meet our community editor, Emma Sokoloff-Rubin, who will be creating more opportunities for you to interact with our reporters, share your experiences, and help deepen our coverage of public schools. To start, please consider submitting to our First Person section, which highlights the experiences of teachers, administrators, students, policymakers, and parents. To find out more or pitch an idea, email Emma.
Another way to share your experiences and thoughts with us is through our comments section. Here is a look at our new comments policy, which we will be enforcing thoroughly with the help of our engagement director, Anika Anand. We want Chalkbeat New York to be a place where educators, policymakers, and families can come to voice their concerns, talk to one another and ultimately, act in a way that leads to better schools for everyone. So please, be courteous and respectful in your comments so that we can all learn something from each other.
Here are some other ways to stay up to date on our reporting and help us make our reporting the best it can be:
- Sign up for our Rise & Shine newsletter, which includes the day’s major education local and national headlines.
- Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.
- Got a story idea for us? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fill out this survey to tell us what stories you want to read and learn more about Chalkbeat.
And, of course, come back daily to read and weigh in on our latest stories. Thanks for your help and happy reading,
Philissa Cramer, Chalkbeat New York bureau chief
Elizabeth Green, Chalkbeat editor-in-chief