Caption: An Unfinished Education
An Unfinished Education 

Yesterday's Dropouts

From: WAMU
Series: Breaking Ground
Length: 51:30

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Approximately 30 million adults in the U.S. are at the low end of the literacy spectrum. They struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule. About 46 million find it challenging to do the most basic math. And for millions of adults, there’s the added challenge of not being able to speak English.
Playing
Yesterday's Dropouts
From
WAMU

D1_main_small Segment One:

Ana Perez, Shirley Ashley, and Ernest Robertson, like thousands of other adult learners, are slowly and painstakingly trying to fill in the gaps of their rudimentary schooling. It has been more than 40 years since they dropped out of school but the long shadow of their unfinished education still follows them every day.

Segment Two:

The most common reason adults go back to school is to get a better job. In typical adult education programs this can take years; students usually have to finish basic courses, then take the GED test, followed by pre-college classes before they can get into college. If students need to learn English, it can take even longer.  Also, major changes coming to the test in 2014 make it more difficult, more expensive and will require adult students to have computer skills.

Segment Three:

The most common reason adults go back to school is to get a better job. In typical adult education programs this can take years; students usually have to finish basic courses, then take the GED test, followed by pre-college classes before they can get into college. If students need to learn English, it can take even longer. 
But a program used throughout Washington state, shortens that time by taking students, often high school drop outs, and placing them in college level courses. 

Adults who go back to school often struggle to earn a diploma and hold a steady job. When they can’t read, write or speak English well, it affects whole communities in a variety of ways- the economy suffers and communities have to spend more on social services- including unemployment checks, food stamps and subsidized housing. Adults who dropped out of high school are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. They are less likely to vote and to volunteer and there is also a burden on the health care and the k-12 school systems. But perhaps the biggest cost is the one that can’t be measured. It’s the invisible cost of what-might-have-been, not being able to fulfill your personal potential.

 

Piece Description

Segment One:

Ana Perez, Shirley Ashley, and Ernest Robertson, like thousands of other adult learners, are slowly and painstakingly trying to fill in the gaps of their rudimentary schooling. It has been more than 40 years since they dropped out of school but the long shadow of their unfinished education still follows them every day.

Segment Two:

The most common reason adults go back to school is to get a better job. In typical adult education programs this can take years; students usually have to finish basic courses, then take the GED test, followed by pre-college classes before they can get into college. If students need to learn English, it can take even longer.  Also, major changes coming to the test in 2014 make it more difficult, more expensive and will require adult students to have computer skills.

Segment Three:

The most common reason adults go back to school is to get a better job. In typical adult education programs this can take years; students usually have to finish basic courses, then take the GED test, followed by pre-college classes before they can get into college. If students need to learn English, it can take even longer. 
But a program used throughout Washington state, shortens that time by taking students, often high school drop outs, and placing them in college level courses. 

Adults who go back to school often struggle to earn a diploma and hold a steady job. When they can’t read, write or speak English well, it affects whole communities in a variety of ways- the economy suffers and communities have to spend more on social services- including unemployment checks, food stamps and subsidized housing. Adults who dropped out of high school are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. They are less likely to vote and to volunteer and there is also a burden on the health care and the k-12 school systems. But perhaps the biggest cost is the one that can’t be measured. It’s the invisible cost of what-might-have-been, not being able to fulfill your personal potential.

 

Timing and Cues

2 X 1 minute station breaks
1X 1:30 station break

Related Website

http://breakingground.wamu.org/