A first-grade student at Earl Boyles Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, learns math.
Photo by Rob Manning, OPB

 The Equity Reporting Project: Restoring the Promise of Education is a groundbreaking initiative to stimulate in-depth reporting on the “opportunity gap.” This growing disparity in access to educational resources has resulted in an unequal education system that unfairly shortchanges the futures of millions of low-income, minority and immigrant children.

Scant attention has been paid to this troubling divide. And even less to its complex root causes: poverty, the ever-widening wealth gap, housing and school segregation, or the vanishing middle class, to name a few.

Renaissance Journalism’s ambitious project will shine a spotlight on the systemic roots and profound impact of educational inequity, sparking public awareness and support for workable solutions to one of our nation’s most pressing problems.

Launched in 2014, the Equity Reporting Project includes:

  • A national journalism fellowship program

Twenty-three journalists from across the country have been selected to participate in the fellowship program. Fellows received a stipend, training and coaching to support them in undertaking a special in-depth reporting project on educational equity and the opportunity gap. The selected journalists represent a diverse array of news organizations—from all media and platforms, from mainstream and community/ethnic media.

The fellows attended one of three regional conferences, where they had the opportunity to meet leading experts in the field, discover new sources and data, conceive fresh story ideas, and to learn best practices in education reporting.

  • A strategic social media strategy to leverage the reporters’ work and its impact

Renaissance Journalism actively promotes the fellows’ stories through social media at the time of publication or broadcast. Additionally, we are showcasing all the stories on our newly redesigned website, launched in March 2016. In this manner, the stories “shelf life” is extended, as is their impact.

  • A national symposium for journalists on educational equity

The one-day symposium, “Equity Matters,” will be held on June 3, 2016, in New York City. Reporters will hear the latest research and learn new ways of thinking about the myriad factors that have created and sustained profound inequity in our nation’s schools. Breakout sessions will provide reporters with the chance to sharpen story ideas and network with colleagues.


The Equity Reporting Project is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation.