Caption: Claudia Villa with her high school diploma
Claudia Villa with her high school diploma 

Schooled: Teens' Stories About American Public Education

From: KUOW
Series: Curated Youth Radio Programs from KUOW and Generation PRX
Length: 55:59

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Teens talk about standards, inequality, and getting out of public high school in America. Schooled is one hour of some of the best youth radio stories on PRX. The show is produced by KUOW's Jenny Asarnow with support from Generation PRX. Our host is Amina Al-Sadi, a 20-year-old senior at the University of Washington.

Claudia_200_small Adults in the White House, Congress, think tanks, principals’ offices, teachers’ unions, and other Very Important Positions are fighting over how to educate kids. But what do teenagers think about the education we’re getting?

This hour, we take you back to school – public high school, to be precise.

Teenagers share our stories, in our words.

We dissect school standards that are too hard, or too easy. We get educated in an unequal public school system, and make decisions for what comes next after high school.

Stories in the program:

1. Amon "AJ" Frazier, 'Promotion In Doubt' WNYC's Radio Rookies http://www.prx.org/pieces/46796-promotion-in-doubt

Amon 'AJ' Frazier was trying to get through eighth grade when New York City's Department of Education made it harder to move up to the next grade. AJ wasn't sure he could pass, but as he found out, the new standards were more flexible than they seemed. AJ created this story for WNYC's "Radio Rookies" when he was 14 years old.

2. Libby Donovan, 'These Kids Didn't Want To Be There, And I Did' (Orig. 'I Was a Slacker in the Top Ten'), Blunt Youth Radio Project http://www.prx.org/pieces/46381-i-was-a-slacker-in-the-top-10

Many American high schools put students in 'tracks' based on academic achievement. But at South Portland High School in Maine, students of all abilities were mixed together in the classroom. Libby Donovan was not pleased. She made this story when she was 19, for the Blunt Youth Radio Project.

3. Amanda Wells, 'The Night I Met Jonathan Kozol,' KRCB Voice of Youth http://www.prx.org/pieces/18445-the-night-i-met-jonathan-kozol

Let's go on a field trip with Amanda Wells, age 17. She saw Jonathan Kozol speak at Sonoma State University in 2005. Kozol has documented and criticized "the restoration of apartheid schooling in America." Amanda asks how she — a white girl — could help end racial separation. She made this story for KRCB Voice of Youth.

4. Erika Ortiz, Paul Roldan, and Alca Usan, 'Where Were You Fifth Period?,' Curie Youth Radio http://www.prx.org/pieces/10160-where-were-you-fifth-period

Time for a quiz. Why do students cut class? Is it because: A.Their pants are wet. B. They're tired. C. They got engaged on lunch break.

Erika Ortiz, Paul Roldan, and Alca Usan get answers from students at Curie High School on the Southwest Side of Chicago. They made this story for Curie Youth Radio.

5. Sam Pearson, 'Sam Drops Out,' Youth Media Project http://www.prx.org/pieces/46483-sam-drops-out

Sam Pearson was a student at Monte Del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, NM. He didn't want to be in high school anymore. So he dropped out. Sam made this story in 2010 when he was 17 years old, for the Youth Media Project in Santa Fe.

6. Caitlin Garing, 'Life After High School,' Alaska Teen Media Institute http://www.prx.org/pieces/4662-think-piece-on-life-after-high-school

More than a third of public high school graduates don't go to college. One anxious mother doesn't know what her son plans to do. So she hires a hard–boiled private detective to find out. Caitlin Garing was a senior in high school when she created this noir–inspired radio play for the Alaska Teen Media Institute.

7. Lena Eckert–Erdheim, 'Making It Out Of High School' Youth Noise Network http://www.prx.org/pieces/17755-making-it-out-of-high-school

Lena Eckert–Erdheim asked fellow seniors at Durham School of the Arts what they planned to do after high school. Go to college or become a hobo? Hmm, tough choice. Lena made this story for Youth Noise Network (YNN) at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. YNN is now part of SpiritHouse. (Lena went to college.)

8. Tirhas Kibrzghi, 'Students Vs. SATs' WAMU's Youth Voices http://www.prx.org/pieces/26721-students-vs-sats

Each year, the SAT test strikes fear into the hearts of about 1.5 million high school students. Colleges use SAT scores to make admissions decisions, but many high school students say the test carries too much weight. WAMU's Youth Voices reporter Tirhas Kibrzghi takes us inside a testing center near Washington, DC.

9. Claudia Villa, 'The Kids Who Got Out: My Graduation Day' KRCB Voice of Youth http://www.prx.org/pieces/11654-the-kids-who-got-out-my-graduation-day

We spend graduation day with Claudia Villa. She went to the Clean and Sober school for kids with substance abuse issues, and graduated with teen moms, probation camp kids, and the rest of Sonoma County's Alternative Ed class of 2006. Claudia made this story when she was 18 years old for KRCB Voice of Youth.

Piece Description

Adults in the White House, Congress, think tanks, principals’ offices, teachers’ unions, and other Very Important Positions are fighting over how to educate kids. But what do teenagers think about the education we’re getting?

This hour, we take you back to school – public high school, to be precise.

Teenagers share our stories, in our words.

We dissect school standards that are too hard, or too easy. We get educated in an unequal public school system, and make decisions for what comes next after high school.

Stories in the program:

1. Amon "AJ" Frazier, 'Promotion In Doubt' WNYC's Radio Rookies http://www.prx.org/pieces/46796-promotion-in-doubt

Amon 'AJ' Frazier was trying to get through eighth grade when New York City's Department of Education made it harder to move up to the next grade. AJ wasn't sure he could pass, but as he found out, the new standards were more flexible than they seemed. AJ created this story for WNYC's "Radio Rookies" when he was 14 years old.

2. Libby Donovan, 'These Kids Didn't Want To Be There, And I Did' (Orig. 'I Was a Slacker in the Top Ten'), Blunt Youth Radio Project http://www.prx.org/pieces/46381-i-was-a-slacker-in-the-top-10

Many American high schools put students in 'tracks' based on academic achievement. But at South Portland High School in Maine, students of all abilities were mixed together in the classroom. Libby Donovan was not pleased. She made this story when she was 19, for the Blunt Youth Radio Project.

3. Amanda Wells, 'The Night I Met Jonathan Kozol,' KRCB Voice of Youth http://www.prx.org/pieces/18445-the-night-i-met-jonathan-kozol

Let's go on a field trip with Amanda Wells, age 17. She saw Jonathan Kozol speak at Sonoma State University in 2005. Kozol has documented and criticized "the restoration of apartheid schooling in America." Amanda asks how she — a white girl — could help end racial separation. She made this story for KRCB Voice of Youth.

4. Erika Ortiz, Paul Roldan, and Alca Usan, 'Where Were You Fifth Period?,' Curie Youth Radio http://www.prx.org/pieces/10160-where-were-you-fifth-period

Time for a quiz. Why do students cut class? Is it because: A.Their pants are wet. B. They're tired. C. They got engaged on lunch break.

Erika Ortiz, Paul Roldan, and Alca Usan get answers from students at Curie High School on the Southwest Side of Chicago. They made this story for Curie Youth Radio.

5. Sam Pearson, 'Sam Drops Out,' Youth Media Project http://www.prx.org/pieces/46483-sam-drops-out

Sam Pearson was a student at Monte Del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, NM. He didn't want to be in high school anymore. So he dropped out. Sam made this story in 2010 when he was 17 years old, for the Youth Media Project in Santa Fe.

6. Caitlin Garing, 'Life After High School,' Alaska Teen Media Institute http://www.prx.org/pieces/4662-think-piece-on-life-after-high-school

More than a third of public high school graduates don't go to college. One anxious mother doesn't know what her son plans to do. So she hires a hard–boiled private detective to find out. Caitlin Garing was a senior in high school when she created this noir–inspired radio play for the Alaska Teen Media Institute.

7. Lena Eckert–Erdheim, 'Making It Out Of High School' Youth Noise Network http://www.prx.org/pieces/17755-making-it-out-of-high-school

Lena Eckert–Erdheim asked fellow seniors at Durham School of the Arts what they planned to do after high school. Go to college or become a hobo? Hmm, tough choice. Lena made this story for Youth Noise Network (YNN) at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. YNN is now part of SpiritHouse. (Lena went to college.)

8. Tirhas Kibrzghi, 'Students Vs. SATs' WAMU's Youth Voices http://www.prx.org/pieces/26721-students-vs-sats

Each year, the SAT test strikes fear into the hearts of about 1.5 million high school students. Colleges use SAT scores to make admissions decisions, but many high school students say the test carries too much weight. WAMU's Youth Voices reporter Tirhas Kibrzghi takes us inside a testing center near Washington, DC.

9. Claudia Villa, 'The Kids Who Got Out: My Graduation Day' KRCB Voice of Youth http://www.prx.org/pieces/11654-the-kids-who-got-out-my-graduation-day

We spend graduation day with Claudia Villa. She went to the Clean and Sober school for kids with substance abuse issues, and graduated with teen moms, probation camp kids, and the rest of Sonoma County's Alternative Ed class of 2006. Claudia made this story when she was 18 years old for KRCB Voice of Youth.

Broadcast History

KUOW 10 am May 31, 2010

Timing and Cues

Fits an hour long program with 3 minute newscast. Contains a one minute billboard and 55 minute program with no internal breaks.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Intro Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Ruffhouse 1998 :45
Drums Live At Ballou Vs. Dunbar Ballou Marching Band Drumline Ballou Movie Soundtrack . Garden Thieves Pictures 2008 01:39
School New Edition All For Love. Geffen 1985 :33
Electric school bell John Sauter The Freesound Project (Freesound.org). Freesound.org Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license 2005 :06
Large Hall Ambiance with School Children digifish music The Freesound Project (Freesound.org). digifishmusic.com Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license 2007 :52
GL Hallway 1-3 PitStop100 The Freesound Project (Freesound.org). Freesound.org Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license 2009 01:49
file0442 (Bus starting engine and driving away.) saphix The Freesound Project (Freesound.org). Freesound.org Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license 2007 :21
A Dream Common Freedom Writers (Music From the Motion Picture). Paramount Pictures 2006 :46
Knowledge is Power No Cash Run Your Pockets. VMS/Morphius Records, Inc 2003 :32
We're a Winner The Impressions People Get Ready. Blaricum CD Company 2007 :35
We're All In This Together (Graduation Mix) The Cast of "High School Musical" High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Audio + Video) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]. Walt Disney Records 2008 01:22

Additional Credits

Support comes from the Public Radio Exchange. Special thanks to Jones Franzel and John Barth at PRX.

Related Website

http://www.kuow.org/specials/schooled.php