follow along

How to keep Chalkbeat in your Facebook feed and other ways to stay informed about your schools

PHOTO: Denver Post file
Lucky Bayar, 8, left, and Tanya Pezin, 11, check their computer project at Ellis Elementary School.

In the coming weeks, you could be seeing less of us on Facebook. That’s because the social network is changing the formula that populates what you see in your News Feed.

Facebook’s algorithm is devaluing updates from news organizations like Chalkbeat, prioritizing status updates and links from family and friends instead.

We don’t want Facebook to come between us, so we’re making sure you know all the different ways you can connect with us and our education coverage.

First, become a Chalkbeat subscriber and let us come to you.

The easiest way to stay on top of all the education news from Chalkbeat is to sign up for one of our newsletters.

Every location we cover — Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, New York, and Tennessee — offers at least one local newsletter. And our national team rounds up the latest in education trends across the United States — plus additional features such as the Chalkbeat research corner and our Betsy DeVos tracker — every Wednesday.

Second, tell Facebook you like us and want to see more of us.

Facebook doesn’t have to keep us apart. But you’re going to have to make that clear.

If you’re on a desktop go to your favorite Chalkbeat Facebook pages. Here’s a link to our main Facebook page, and here are links to Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, New York, and Tennessee. Click the “Following” button, which should appear on the center left of the page, just underneath our cover photo. Then select “See First.”

If you’re on an iPhone:

  1. Select the three-line menu in the bottom right-hand corner of the app.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and select “Settings.”
  3. Select “News Feed Preferences.”
  4. Select “Prioritize who to see first.”
  5. Select your favorite Chalkbeat pages you want to see first in your news feed. A blue star will appear once you’ve correctly selected your choices.
  6. Hit “Done.”

If you’re on an Android:

  1. Select the three-line menu in the top right-hand corner of the app.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and select “News Feed Preferences.”
  3. Select “Prioritize who to see first.
  4. Select your favorite Chalkbeat pages you want to see first in your news feed. A blue star will appear once you’ve correctly selected your choices.
  5. Hit “Done.”

That’s it. Now, our posts on Facebook should regularly appear in your feed.

Third, follow us on other networks.

Find us on Twitter on our main Chalkbeat account or any of our bureau accounts: Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, New York, and Tennessee. You can also follow Chalkbeat on LinkedIn and read our stories on Flipboard.

Got an idea of other platforms where Chalkbeat should share its news and engage with readers? Send an email to social@chalkbeat.org.

Don’t forget, we always want to hear from you. So you can send feedback or news tips — we love scoops! — to tips@chalkbeat.org.

Thanks for taking the time to stay connected with Chalkbeat!

An Introduction

Indiana education is evolving. Here’s how Chalkbeat is growing to keep you informed.

PHOTO: Alan Petersime
Indianapolis Public Schools students line up at CFI 27.

When I first came to Indianapolis eight years ago, the failures of the city’s largest school district were on full display.

Indianapolis Public Schools was losing thousands of students to township, charter, and private schools. The continued dismal performance of several district schools put them on the brink of unprecedented state takeover.

Marion County was home to so many children living in poverty that they could fill the Indianapolis Colts’ football stadium, the local newspaper calculated, and then form a line outside it more than three miles long.

Among the first people I met in the city was an Indianapolis teacher who went Dumpster-diving at suburban schools for classroom supplies.

Still, the city was coming together in critical ways to support students and schools. Nonprofit organizations filled gaping needs, with school supplies, uniforms, and mentoring services. Education leaders searched for solutions as small-scale as targeted neighborhood initiatives and as big-picture as completely making over the entire school district.

Today, there’s a lot that has changed — and a lot that hasn’t. People across the state are re-thinking public education. Yet in many places, our students, teachers, and schools continue to face many of the same challenges.

I recently joined Chalkbeat as the new Indiana bureau chief to lead our coverage of the city’s schools and the state’s education policy landscape.

I’m coming from the Indianapolis Star, where I reported on education, politics, and diversity issues. I’d collaborated with Chalkbeat on stories about school integration and English-language learners.

I’ll be overseeing the work of our Chalkbeat Indiana reporting team: Shaina Cavazos covers state education policy, dissecting complex legislation and the politics that drive changes. Shaina has been investigating the underperforming Indiana Virtual School, raising ethical questions about its spending of public dollars, and revealing it hired few teachers and graduated few students.

Reporter Dylan Peers McCoy has been following the dramatic changes as Indianapolis Public Schools embraces charter partnerships, turning over control of some of its schools to outside groups.

I’ll also be contributing my own reporting, with a focus on charter schools and Indiana’s recent moves to publicly fund early childhood education, a topic that has gained greater attention with research showing how critical a child’s first years are to future academic success.

We’ll continue to do what Chalkbeat has always strived to do: provide strong, independent, in-depth coverage of efforts to improve public education for all kids, especially those from low-income families.

Please let me know about stories you’d like to see us write, or share feedback about anything our team has written. We’d love to hear from you.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at swang@chalkbeat.org.

Holiday Reading

Here are five Chalkbeat stories to read this Presidents Day

PHOTO: Getty Images
A statue of George Washington with the American flag in the background in front of Independence Hall.

Happy Presidents Day! We’re off today, and we hope you’re enjoying a three-day weekend too.

I’m planning to spend part of today catching up on Chalkbeat stories. Since last summer, when I started as executive editor, I’ve felt like a student again. I’ve never worked in education journalism before, so I’ve tried to read as much as I can — and there’s no better place to start than Chalkbeat’s reporting.

In honor of the holiday celebrating George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and our other past presidents, I’ve rounded up a special reading list — for myself and for you, our trusted Chalkbeat community.

Two stories that take place in schools named after U.S. presidents:

Why one Brooklyn high school is making a big bet on teacher training

Indianapolis needs tech workers. IPS hopes that George Washington will help fill that gap.

Two stories about local education leaders (even though they probably won’t ever get a national holiday in their honor):

Can this Detroit principal help her students learn quickly enough to save her school?

Meet the Memphis educator leading the charge to take down her city’s Confederate monuments

And one recent story that has nothing to do with Presidents Day but is so terrific I had to include it:

Tight-knit and tightly budgeted: Inside one of Denver’s smallest schools

-Bene

P.S. Got other education stories you think I should read? Send them my way!