Inquirer Wins Pulitzer For ‘Assault On Learning’

INQUIRER: The Inquirer’s investigation of the climate of pervasive violence in Philadelphia’s public schools Monday won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the profession’s most prestigious honor. The award is the 19th Pulitzer Prize for the 183-year-old newspaper and its first since 1997. The seven-part series, “Assault on Learning,” revealed that violence in city schools was widespread and underreported, with 30,000 serious incidents over the last five school years. Those findings were later corroborated by a Philadelphia School District blue-ribbon panel on safety, spurred an overhaul of incident reporting in the district, and prompted the hiring of a state-funded safe-schools advocate. The idea for the series, which ran March 27-April 2, 2011, emerged after racial violence erupted among students at South Philadelphia High School in December 2009. The Pulitzer Prize for public-service is always awarded to a newspaper, rather than an individual. “Assault on Learning” was the culmination of at least a year of effort by a team of Inquirer reporters, editors, photographers, designers, and multi-media presentation specialists. Reporters John Sullivan, Susan Snyder, Kristen A. Graham, Dylan Purcell, and Jeff Gammage spent a year examining violence in Philadelphia public schools, conducting more than 300 interviews with teachers, administrators, students and their families, district officials, police officers, court officials, and school-violence experts. MORE

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