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Heather Vogell

Heather Vogell

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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, “Cheating Our Children,” 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.

Articles

‘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.

When USA Gymnastics Turned a Blind Eye to Sexual Abuse

Podcast: ProPublica’s Heather Vogell talks to Indianapolis Star reporters who uncovered how the country’s main gymnastics organization ignored warnings of abuse.

How New Jersey Has Embraced ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’ to Students

Podcast: ProPublica’s Annie Waldman talks about what makes New Jersey’s student loans so onerous.

Why Liberal New York City’s Schools Are Among the Nation’s Most Segregated

Podcast: Former ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones talks about her New York Times Magazine story on sending her daughter to a segregated school.

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.

Florida Lawmakers Look to Roll Back Favored Status For For-Profit Group Home

Florida legislators are looking to end a “monopoly” written into state law that benefits AdvoServ, a for-profit company with a history of abuse at its facilities for disabled residents.

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.

New York City Sends $30 Million a Year to School With History of Giving Kids Electric Shocks

New York City kids make up the vast majority of the students at Massachusetts’ infamous Judge Rotenberg Center, and keep getting sent there despite repeated evidence of abuse.

Federal Investigators Crack Down on Two Virginia Schools’ Use of Restraints

Investigators found that children were being regularly pinned down or isolated and that their education was suffering as a result.

Meet the Groups Fighting Against Limits on Restraining School Kids

Republicans say it is a matter of states' rights.

Can Schools in Your State Pin Kids Down? Probably.

Many states have little regulation or oversight of such practices. This map shows where your state stands.
Heather Vogell

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