2016 Hechinger Prize and Investigative Reporting for Print/Online (Large Staff) Winner

Brian M. Rosenthal (Reporter) | Houston Chronicle

About the Entry

Brian Rosenthal investigated how, and why, unelected state officials devised a system that has kept thousands of students with disabilities out of special education. His reporting triggered both state and federal inquiries, and Texas has since reversed course on its controversial policy.

Comments from the Judges

“Outstanding reporting. The depth and breadth of reporting was clear in the stories. Brian’s narrative voice was even and powerful, and that made the findings all the more compelling.”

“Great writing, dogged reporting, meticulous data analysis, and presented well online – all the makings for an effective investigative piece in today’s news world. This piece has sent reverberations around the state and nation … lives were affected by this policy, and more lives will be altered by the story’s outcome.”