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The Education Lab is an ambitious editorial initiative that shines a spotlight on education issues critical to the advancement of San Joaquin Valley residents, with a specific focus on Fresno.

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About the lab

We believe that improving educational attainment, and ultimately increasing the number of college graduates and skilled workers in the area, is key to economic mobility and a stronger community. Locally-based journalists with a single focus on education can help document progress, bring accountability where needed, and amplify successes.

Our goals are to increase civic discourse on educational attainment across the valley and ultimately to improve education outcomes. To fulfill the lab’s goals, a small team of journalists is dedicated exclusively to covering education and engaging with the community.

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Support the Education Lab by donating to the Impact Media Fund at the Central Valley Community Foundation.

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The Education Lab is an ambitious journalism initiative that shines a spotlight on education issues critical to the advancement of San Joaquin Valley residents, with a focus on Fresno. Sign up for latest stories — and to join the conversation.

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The Team

Four journalists are at the heart of the Education Lab and its mission of independent, solutions-oriented journalism. Two reporters cover early education, K-12, and higher education, including community colleges. A third reporter focuses on engagement and building a broad and diverse audience. A dedicated editor leads the team and shares our work with other media in the central San Joaquin Valley.

Support The Lab

Support the Education Lab by donating to the Impact Media Fund at the Central Valley Community Foundation. The Foundation established the Media Fund in the spring of 2019 to identify problems, curate and interpret data, educate and engage citizens, amplify local voices, break down barriers, develop viable solutions, socialize ideas, measure and track progress, improve accountability and drive transformation.

The Media Fund manages and funds projects and programs that drive transformation and improve our community through research, community engagement and education, solutions-based and investigative journalism, and storytelling throughout California’s six-county central San Joaquin Valley. Funding for the Media Fund comes from a variety of public, private, and/or philanthropic sources.

Founding conributors: College Futures Foundation; The California Endowment; James B. McClatchy Foundation; The James Irvine Foundation; Central Valley Community Foundation; Susan McClatchy; Paul Gibson and Joan Eaton; State Center Community College District, Dr. Paul Parnell; Don & Sally Clark Foundation; Deborah and Greg Lapp; Murray and Francine Farber; Pete Weber; Joaquin Alvarado, Studiotobe.

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The Education Lab at The Fresno Bee is funded by:

College Futures Foundation

The California Endowment

James B. McClatchy Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation

Central Valley Community Foundation

Susan McClatchy

Paul Gibson and Joan Eaton

State Center Community College District, Dr. Paul Parnell

Don & Sally Clark Foundation

Deborah and Greg Lapp

Murray and Francine Farber

Pete Weber

Joaquin Alvarado, Studiotobe

FAQ

Q: Do the foundations have any control over what is reported? Editorial independence has been a core value at The Fresno Bee for almost 100 years. We strive to deliver high-impact journalism in the public interest. While we value our funding partners’ support, outside funders have no editorial oversight, approval, or influence over the content produced by lab reporters or other members of The Fresno Bee newsroom.

Q: What other news organizations have received foundation funding? The Seattle Times launched an Education Lab years ago supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and City University of Seattle. The Miami Herald received support from the Rockefeller Foundation to cover Puerto Rico’s recovery from Maria. The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and public media such as NPR and PBS have all accepted foundation funding.

Q: Will this effort replace The Fresno Bee’s regular reporting on key issues in our community? No, these are new positions. We will continue to cover important school board meetings and breaking news in education and other areas.

Statement of Editorial Independence

Editorial independence has been a core value at The Fresno Bee for nearly 100 years. We strive to deliver high-impact journalism in the public interest. While we value the support and partnership of our funding partners, outside funders will not have any editorial oversight, approval or influence over the content produced by the fellow or other members of The Fresno Bee newsroom.