PBS NewsHour Focus on High School Dropout Issues

PBSAnother year of PBS NewsHour Extra’s Student Reporting Labs program is underway with a brand new batch of participating schools.

The Student Reporting Labs program, in existence since 2009, connects high school students and teachers to local PBS stations and news professionals in theirfraser community to produce original, student-generated news video reports.

This year, the program is working with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative to examine issues surrounding the high school dropout epidemic. Participating classrooms will make video reports about education and dropout-related issues in their communities to increase awareness about retention rates.

Over the summer, two groups of students from Radio Rootz, a division of participating organization People’s Production House, made excellent video reports about schools labeled ‘dropout factories’ in their areas. The report from students in New York City was broadcast nationwide on the PBS NewsHour in August, a first for the Reporting Labs program. View their reports at www.studentreportinglabs.com.

journalism1All of this year’s participating Reporting Labs sites are located in areas where the high school dropout rate is especially problematic. Known as “community hubs” for the American Graduate program, these areas will play host to a number of events surrounding education issues, centered around their local public media stations. Participating schools and organizations for 2011 are:

Woodlawn High School, Birmingham, Ala.
The Media Academy, Oakland, Calif.
Free Spirit Media, Chicago, Ill.
Fraser High School, Fraser, Mich.
Golightly Career Technical Center, Detroit, Mich.
Lakewood High School and John Hopkins Middle School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Desert Pines High School, Las Vegas, Nev.
New Generation Justice, Albuquerque, N.M.
Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.
McGavock High School, Nashville, Tenn.
Granby High School, Norfolk, Va.

While these are the formal partners for this year’s Reporting Labs project, PBS NewsHour Extra encourages all interested classrooms to use the free curriculum at www.studentreportinglabs.com, submit videos for publication, and apply to become a reporting lab in the future. E-mail to learn how to submit the reports for possible inclusion on the website.

Finally, don’t forget to follow Student Reporting Labs on Twitter @reportinglabs, and keep tabs on the students’ video-making process at