Education is a key driver of economic mobility everywhere, and especially in the Central Valley, where the gap between rich and poor families is growing even faster than it is in the rest of the state.
How do we change this trajectory and quicken the pace of advancement in educational outcomes? Answering these and related questions is at the center of The Modesto Bee’s Economic Mobility Lab Project and its mission to provide revealing, solutions-oriented journalism.
As an education reporter, you will be part of a team that covers education, equity and housing/economic development. You will work closely with an editor, and be active in community engagement. You also will have the opportunity to work with other journalists both in our newsroom and across McClatchy.
Education is not covering school events and test scores, though that can be part of what we do. It’s diving into the issues surrounding one of the most important drivers of economic success for a region. The Economic Mobility Project’s content will go deep; it is not a breaking news assignment (though we will write stories that should be told immediately).
There are 25 school districts in Stanislaus County, and we primarily watch the largest half-dozen. The biggest district is Modesto City Schools, with an enrollment of about 30,000 students and seven high schools.
Issues we have been covering recently range from the cancelation of a high school play due to its mature content, school boards that have had members sue each other and reschedule meetings over the heightened emotions around the state’s mask mandate, and districts seeing enrollment drop in some areas while others are on the brink of being overwhelmed with new development.
It’s an exciting time to be covering education in Modesto, a city of 212,000 in a region of a half-million people. We are located in the heart of the Northern San Joaquin Valley, in an area offering an abundance of outdoor recreation while only 90 minutes from the Bay Area.
- At least 1 year of full-time reporting experience
- Strong writing and reporting skills, with excellent news judgment
- Ability to use social media platforms to reach and engage with audiences
- Command of storytelling using a variety of tools and platforms, including capturing and editing video
- Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism
- Demonstrated comfort in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation
- Must have reliable transportation. Must have valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance required (at least minimum insurance required for the state in which the employee works)