O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism to host annual conference

November 1, 2018

Event will explore why student performance in Milwaukee schools lag

MILWAUKEE — The O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism annual conference will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marquette University Law School.

2017-18 O'Brien Fellow Erin Richards of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will lead a discussion of "Lessons Lost," her reporting on how repeated school switching during the school year creates tough challenges for both students and educators.

Her groundbreaking stories showed that student turnover is a massive indicator of academic struggle and stagnation. "Test scores drop because of it. Graduation rates fall because of it. Teachers don't know what to do about it. Principals can't recognize their own students as a result of it. And until now, nobody knew the extent of it," wrote Richards.

At the conference, local and national educators and others will discuss solutions to the problem. In addition, attendees can view an exhibit by Journal Sentinel photojournalist Angela Peterson that accompanies Richards' stories.

The event is organized by the Diederich College of Communication, which houses the O'Brien Fellowship. The Fellowship pairs journalism professionals with student journalists to produce high-impact, in-depth reporting on public affairs with an eye toward spotlighting potential solutions to pressing problems facing America.

For more information on the event, contact Dave Umhoefer, O'Brien Fellowship director, or Erin Richards, 2017-18 O'Brien Fellow.