Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Education team delivers ambitious school segregation coverage for 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board

Fifth grader Malaya Webster, right, plays a game with other students at Williams Science and Arts Magnet school Friday, May 10, 2024, in Topeka, Kan. The school is just a block from the former Monroe school which was at the center of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling ending segregation in public schools 70 years ago. AP PHOTO / CHARLIE RIEDEL

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Drawing on AP’s network of reporters in places like Kansas, the Education team provided a nuanced, comprehensive examination of the state segregation in America’s schools for the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board.

The Education team undertook an ambitious suite of enterprise stories exploring how well desegregation has worked — or whether it worked at all. The coverage incorporated data, analysis, video and archival photos, plus historical context and student-centered reporting.

It showed how court rulings have chipped away at policies to promote integration, the kind of segregation that has grown more prevalent around the country, and the ruling’s legacy in the context of school choice. Data analysis was circulated to AP members through a localization guide.

The coverage ran on the front pages of newspapers across the country. Most rewardingly, the Topeka superintendent emailed Hollingsworth to say, in part: “Just incredible. Thank you for uplifting the Brown legacy in such an incredible way.”

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