Kae Petrin

Data & Graphics Reporter @ Chalkbeat

I am a data reporter and full-stack developer who writes breaking news and investigative features. I also acquire public records, analyze datasets, and build interactive data visualizations.

Currently covering education and voting data for Chalkbeat and Votebeat. Formerly of St. Louis Public Radio and St. Louis Magazine. Bylines also in The Riverfront Times, The Alton Telegraph, The Common Reader, The News-Press.

Chalkbeat Colorado
Online enrollment grows in Colorado but there's little information about performance

When the pandemic first sent Colorado students home from school, Rachael Sheetz worried about the chaos of remote learning, but as the caretaker for her elderly grandmother, she also worried about COVID. In her search for options for her two teenagers, she landed on Colorado Connections Academy, an online school.

Chalkbeat Chicago
In Chicago and other urban districts, a new embrace of career and technical programs

When Chef Samantha Jones arrived at Juarez High School in Chicago six years ago, she discovered a shell of a culinary program. Jones set about to change that: She created a curriculum, arranged regular produce deliveries, and sought out opportunities for students to show off their skills outside the school's kitchen.

How the 'age-appropriate' debate is altering curriculum

In January, Williamson County Schools issued a report on 31 texts from its K-5 English language arts curriculum that had been challenged as being obscene, "critical race theory," or inappropriate for elementary-agechildren. Complaints targeted books in all five grades, with two in kindergarten, five in first grade, ten in second, four in third, seven in fourth, and three infifth.

Chalkbeat New York
UPDATED: NYC parents, was your child exposed to COVID? Here's what to do next

Once again, New York City parents may be facing questions about when to keep their children home from school or get them tested for COVID as they learn of possible exposures. To keep more children in school, the city changed its quarantine rules before students returned to classrooms after the winter break.

Chalkbeat Newark
How violence shook a Newark high school, despite pleas for help

The fight to rebuild school communities after two years of pandemic-era uncertainty. The calls for help started the first week of classes at Malcolm X Shabazz High School. Week one: The police were called about a fight at the Newark school, police records from this September show. Week two: an assault in progress.


Older Data Viz & Analysis

St. Louis Public Radio
Once Promised For Rehab, Vacant Buildings Now Scar St. Louis' North Side

I located eight different property lists in blurry PDFs, OCR’d them with ABBYY, cleaned them in OpenRefine, removed duplicates, filtered them to the relevant properties, and then SQL joined them to a city database to evaluate their condition and permit history. After that, I analyzed everything in Pandas. Brent Jones (not me) built the app page.