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Heather Vogell

Reporter

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Heather Vogell is a reporter at ProPublica. Previously, she was a reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where her work on test cheating in the public school system resulted in the indictments of the superintendent and 34 others. A series she co-authored, âCheating Our Children,â examined suspicious test scores in public schools across the nation, becoming a 2013 finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Before the Journal-Constitution, she worked at The Charlotte Observer, The Chicago Tribune, and The Day, in New London, Conn.

Bellwether Behavioral Health Is Controversial Group Home Operator AdvoServ — With a New Name

After two deaths of teenage residents in less than four years, AdvoServ has quietly taken a new name that makes it harder to follow the trail of media coverage, including ours.

Florida to Examine Whether Alternative Charter Schools Underreport Dropouts

State officials are following up on a ProPublica report last month that Orlando uses alternative charter schools to boost ratings and hide dropouts.

Help ProPublica and USA Today Investigate Alternative Schools

If you are familiar with alternative schools for students with academic or behavioral issues, we need your help.

‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System

School officials nationwide dodge accountability ratings by steering low achievers to alternative programs. In Orlando, Florida, the nation’s tenth-largest district, thousands of students who leave alternative charters run by a for-profit company aren’t counted as dropouts.

Alternative School Enrollment and Warning Signs

Which districts have large numbers of students in alternative schools, and where are those schools potentially problematic?

Methodology: How We Analyzed Alternative Schools Data

Using federal and local data, ProPublica examined how some alternative schools shortchange students and at times become a silent release valve for schools straining under the pressure of accountability reform.

Camera Catches Shoving Match with Group Home Worker Before Teenager’s Heart Stopped

A video shows a healthy 15-year-old going into her bedroom at a for-profit AdvoServ facility. Thirty-two minutes later, she had no pulse. Nobody’s saying what happened.

Maryland’s Move to Pull Children From Group Homes Came Too Late for Teenager Who Died

After unannounced inspections revealed deficiencies, Maryland stopped placing young people at Delaware facilities owned by AdvoServ.

Teenage Girl Dies After Incident at For-profit Group Home

The 15-year-old was a resident at a Delaware facility owned by AdvoServ, which has faced decades of reports of abuse.

Florida Cracks Down on Troubled For-profit Facility for the Disabled

After years of reports of abusive treatment, Florida is moving residents out of Carlton Palms.

FDA to Massachusetts Group Home: Stop Shocking Disabled Residents

The government questions whether The Judge Rotenberg Center has been straight with families about the risks of its electrical shock devices and alternative treatments.

Restraints

It took one mother seven years to learn that the for-profit school she trusted with her son had strapped him down again and again, one time after not picking up his Legos.

What Happened to Adam

It took one mother seven years to learn that the for-profit school she trusted with her son had strapped him down again and again, one time after not picking up his Legos.

Unrestrained

While evidence of abuse of the disabled has piled up for decades, one for-profit company has used its deep pockets and influence to bully weak regulators and evade accountability

Virginia Passes Bill to Rein in Restraints of School Kids

Many schools in the state still have no policies or rules around pinning kids down.

Massachusetts Tightens Rules on Restraining, Secluding Students

Under new rules, Massachusetts schools will not be allowed to use certain techniques to restrain or isolate students as frequently and will have to report all restraints and injuries.

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