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How the Press Covers Charter Schools

One frequently hears that media coverage of K–12 school reform is biased—although the direction of that bias is a matter of dispute. To assess these claims, we examined hundreds of articles published by major outlets on charter schooling in 2015.

Charter coverage was broadly mixed and generally neutral, although there was also a sizeable amount of negative coverage. More specifically, while 49 percent of the articles were neutral or balanced in tone, the other half trended negative by a ratio of more than 2:1.

Media outlets varied in the tenor of their coverage, sometimes in surprising ways. For example, outlets such as Salon and Slate were much more negative than others. Media outlets also differed in how often they mentioned race in their coverage of charter schooling.

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