Participate in Education Lab IQ -- for "interesting questions" -- a new Education Lab project inspired by other reader-powered reporting across the nation.
How different are the college-track classes in each Washington state school district? What is the history behind public schools’ struggles with addressing students with special needs? What is being done to close Washington’s achievement gap?
These are just a few of the questions our readers have told us they are curious about. And we want to hear more from the rest of you.
That’s why we’re launching an experimental project called Education Lab Interesting Questions (IQ for short).
So here’s what we want from you: What do you want to know about Washington’s public schools? What are you curious about when it comes to the way education works? What do you find confusing or complicated that you’d like to better understand?
Send us your questions and we’ll choose a few, then poll you for your favorite. The question that receives the highest number of votes will be investigated by a reporter on our Education Lab team.
We hope this project will help us learn what you, our readers, are interested in reading, and to help us discover stories that we might not otherwise find. We’re looking for questions that are smart, relevant and, above all, interesting.
Q: How do I submit a question?
A: You can submit a question using our form, adding a question in the comments or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also Tweet, Facebook or snail mail your question to us.
Q: Can I ask more than one question?
Q: Do I have to attach my name and e-mail to the question?
A: Yes, please! If your question gets chosen for a voting round, we want to give you credit for asking it, and be able to email you to let you know it’s been chosen.
Q: What types of questions are unlikely to be chosen?
A: We won’t answer questions if they sound like you already know the answer — why one school, organization or program is better than another, for example. We won’t investigate questions about The Seattle Times or Education Lab, and we won’t answer questions posed by staff at The Seattle Times.
Q: How will you pick questions for readers to vote on?
A: We’ll consider things like the location of the story, the timeliness and relevance of it, whether it’s something that can be easily Googled and whether the story has already been covered.
Q: What happens if my question doesn’t get chosen?
A: Our team will always be looking into our question archives for each new voting round, so there is still a chance your question will be chosen!
Q: Where did you get the idea for this project?
A: WBEZ Chicago launched “Curious City” a few years ago and that project has motivated many other newsrooms to do similar reader-powered reporting. (And “Curious City” is encouraging that path through a new company named Hearken.) We thank them for the inspiration to start this project at Education Lab.