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Playlist: American Graduate

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit:
Curated Playlist

Explore the dropout crisis.

American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen is a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success. Public broadcasting has a long history improving educational outcomes for high-need students and communities. The dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem.

Hour (49:00-1:00:00)

Yesterday's Dropouts

From WAMU | Part of the Breaking Ground series | 51:30

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.

 

The Year Of The Teacher

From WUNC | Part of the North Carolina Teacher Project series | 50:28

This is The Year of the Teacher, a documentary from North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC looking back at an extraordinary year in public education in the state.

Teachersign_small

When the school year begins in 2014, 95,000 teachers will report back to work in North Carolina, ready to teach more than 1.5 million kids. The teachers will have a raise, but will that ease the lingering resentment and outright anger of the past year, when many protested a wide range of new state policies? Reporter Dave DeWitt looks back at a tumultuous twelve months for teachers and public education in a one-hour documentary: “The Year of the Teacher in North Carolina.” 

Class of 2025 Hour-Long Documentary

From Oregon Public Broadcasting | Part of the American Graduate - Class of 2025 series | 54:22

AIR WINDOW OPENS JUNE 4TH
In this hour we're going to hear from parents, teachers and education experts. OPB aims to follow more than 20 members of the class of 2025 through high school. They're in first grade now.

This hour, we'll hear from five of them. We're focusing on these kids from Oregon because their stories reflect where public education is heading.

051514_2025_ashley01_small

AIR WINDOW OPENS JUNE 4TH
In this hour we're going to hear from parents, teachers and education experts.  OPB aims to follow more than 20 members of the class of 2025 through high school. They're in first grade now. 
We'll hear from five of those children. We're focusing on these kids from Oregon because their stories reflect where public education is heading. 

The College Dream: Hour 1 of Community Forum

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 01:00:07

A school district on the Texas border with Mexico achieved an astounding transformation that could be an example for the rest of the nation. Pharr-San Juan-Alamo is a 99 percent Latino district. A few years ago, the percentage of students in the district who dropped out was more than twice that of the entire state of Texas. Now, the district has drastically cut the number of dropouts and notably increased the number of students who are graduating from high school with college credits. How did this metamorphosis happen?

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This is the first hour in English of a bilingual community forum exploring issues contributing to the school success or failure of Latino students. Aired from the University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg, TX, in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, the forum sets Texas as the stage for a national dialogue about Latino college track issues. In Texas, the majority of students in public schools are Latinos and the future and promise of Texas depends on how well young Latinos do in school. Yet, Latino students are the first to drop out and the last to go to college and too few are becoming professionals and leaders.

This segment focuses on a major turnaround story: the story of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District, which achieved an astounding transformation that could be an example for the rest of the nation. Pharr-San Juan-Alamo is a 99 percent Latino district. A few years ago, the percentage of students in the district who dropped out was more than twice that of the entire state of Texas. Now, the district has drastically cut the number of dropouts and notably increased the number of students who are graduating from high school with college credits. How did this metamorphosis happen? Key stakeholders interact with a live audience to address these issues. These special programs are part of Radio Bilingüe’s national series Diploma en Mano. The host is National Public Radio’s National Desk Editor Richard Gonzales.

Guests: Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., Trustee, South Texas College Board, Edinburg, TX; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Dean, College of Applied Arts, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX; Frances Guzman, Educational Associate, Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, TX; Dr. Francisco Guajardo, Executive Director, Llano Grande Center, Edcouch, TX; Tania Chavez, Special Projects Coordinator, La Union del Pueblo Entero, San Juan, TX; Sonia Falcon, Senior Vice-President Commercial Lending, Lone Star National Bank, McAllen, TX; Dr. Daniel King,Superintendent Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA), Pharr, TX.

The Student Debt Crisis: Hour 2 of Community Forum

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 01:00:09

This segment of a community forum focuses on college costs and initiatives to make college education more affordable for students of working-class families.I n Texas, the majority of students in public schools are Latinos and the future and promise of Texas depends on how well young Latinos do in school. Yet, Latino students are the first to drop out and the last to go to college and too few are becoming professionals and leaders. Key stakeholders interact with a live audience to address these issues.

Phototx_small

This is the second hour of a live-broadcast, two-hour community forum in English exploring issues contributing to the school success or failure of Latino students. Aired from the University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg, TX, the forum sets Texas as the stage for a national dialogue about Latino college track issues. In Texas, the majority of students in public schools are Latinos and the future and promise of Texas depends on how well young Latinos do in school. Yet, Latino students are the first to drop out and the last to go to college and too few are becoming professionals and leaders.

This segment focuses on college costs and initiatives to make college education more affordable for students of working-class families. Key stakeholders interact with a live audience to address these issues. These special programs are part of Radio Bilingüe’s national series Diploma en Mano. The host is National Public Radio’s National Desk Editor Richard Gonzales.

Guests: Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., Trustee, South Texas College Board, Edinburg, TX; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Dean, College of Applied Arts, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX; Frances Guzman, Educational Associate, Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, TX; Juanita Valdez-Cox, Executive Director, La Union del Pueblo Entero, McAllen, TX; Olga Cardoso, Program Director, Llano Grande Center, Edcouch, TX; Sonia Falcon, Senior Vice-President Commercial Lending, Lone Star National Bank, McAllen, TX; Dr. Daniel King, Superintendent Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA), Pharr, TX.

American Graduate - Crossing the Stage

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 51:26

Hosted by Dick Gordon, this program talks about what’s happening with the drop-out rate in the country. More kids are staying in school but those numbers might be misleading. We’ll hear about some of the new thinking – ways to make school more appealing or more meaningful so students want to stay in high school, and we’ll get a sobering take on the GED, long thought to be a reasonable alternative to a high school diploma.

Cross-stage-logo_small Hosted by Dick Gordon this program talks about what's happening with the drop-out rate in the country. 

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Department of Education has reported a steady decline in the numbers of students who drop out of school before graduating. It says the rate dropped from 12 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2011.

But a stark figure remains: On average, about one million students leave every year before graduation.

In this special program, American Graduate: Crossing the Stage, host Dick Gordon looks at ways – some innovative and some traditional – that educators are trying to keep students in school and help them succeed in the careers they choose.

Featured in the program: Russ Rumberger, director of the California Research Project, who is looking at some alternative paths students can follow to take to college; Emily Hanford, a radio producer who looked at the history of the GED test, and found how it is changing; and Julia Pointer Putnam, the principal of the Grace and James Lee Boggs School in Detroit, which focuses on community involvement and students’ creative thinking.

Also featured are three students who broke against the current: Dashawn Richardson from Durham, N.C., credits an English teacher for mentoring him; Shi Leach from Greensboro, N.C., got help from the program in his state and is now a college freshman; and Bailey Karpa from Vancouver, Wa., who found out she was pregnant at age 16, and got help from a program called GRADS that gives day care and parenting lessons to teen parents.


It's part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success. 

Second Chance Diploma: Examining the GED

From American Public Media | Part of the American RadioWorks: Focus on Education series | 54:00

Millions of high school dropouts hope their ticket to a better job is getting a GED. But critics say passing a test is not the same as getting a high school diploma, and it doesn't help most people get ahead.(9/5/2013)

Ged_publicity_photo_small Today’s workers need more education and skills than ever before. But 39 million adults in the United States don’t have even the most basic credential: a high school diploma. Many hope their ticket to a better job is passing a test called the GED. But critics say the test is too easy and hardly the equivalent of a high school education. This program documents how the GED – originally designed to help World War II veterans go to college – became the fallback option for millions of high school dropouts. It explores how the GED is changing and what those changes mean for millions of Americans being left behind by our changing economy.

Left Behind, Dropping Out

From WNPR | 52:00

Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, these kids will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works? Hosted by Andrea Seabrook.

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Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big questions: Why are students dropping out? What's the cost? And, what works to keep them in school and graduate? We’ll talk to Arne Duncan, the education secretary in charge of turning around the problem. And we'll look at the dropout crisis through the eyes of the kids themselves. You'll hear stories from:
  • Chicago, Duncan's hometown, where we try to find out why students leave school in the first place.
  • San Diego, where a mentoring program has helped cut dropout rates substantially.
  • Washington, DC, where we examine the cost of dropouts to families.
  • Boston, where we look at whether the President's call for a "dropout age" of 18 could really work.
  • And New Haven, Connecticut, where students are given the "promise" of college if they work hard and stay in school.
This special is hosted by former NPR correspondent Andrea Seabrook, now host of her own blog DecodeDC.

It's part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success. 

Listen to the full interview with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  
Listen to the full interview with Russell Rumberger, author of Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of School and What Can be Done About It.   


Class Dismissed

From Capital Public Radio | Part of the The View From Here series | 54:04

This one-hour documentary takes an intimate look at the high school dropout crisis through the lives of three young people from California's Central Valley. Their stories reveal what’s at stake for their future and ours.
To host a community dialogue using our downloadable discussion guide and audio clips grouped by themes raised in the documentary, go to capradio.org/209Talks.
[CONTENT ADVISORY: This program contains one instance of language that some listeners may find offensive.]

Img_6227_240x240_small Class Dismissed is a one-hour radio documentary from Capital Public Radio's series, The View From Here . The multimedia project includes web video, photo galleries and full-length print stories for stations to use with attribution.

One in four California adults is a high school dropout. Class Dismissed takes an intimatelook at the crisis through the lives of three young people from California's Central Valley. Their stories reveal what’s at stake for their future and ours.

Unyque Jackson became pregnant in her senior year of high school. But, she didn’t see that as a reason to drop out. Through a school program providing childcare, credits and moral support, she graduated and is moving on with her life.

Roosevelt Webb had no choice but to drop out of high school. His father was dying. A friend told Roosevelt about a charter school where he’d get paid to learn a skill while completing his credits. He’d be the first in his family to earn a diploma if he completes his senior year.

Geronimo Garcia was on the path to dropping out by the time he started kindergarten. He followed his brothers into drugs and gangs. He knows if he doesn’t change his life, he will end up in jail or dead. But it’s hard to break those chains.

These first-person stories explore the reasons why young people drop out of high school and what happens to them and their families if they don't complete a basic education. It’s about schools, families and communities finding the solutions to help young people get back on track. 

WEB EXTRA VIDEO AVAILABLE TO EMBED: Gina Vongkaeo's future wasn't looking very bright. She dropped out of high school, got in trouble and was serving time for burglary. Despite her mistakes, she didn't give up on herself. She found the support she needed to turn her life around. View "Building Futures" on YouTube

DOWNLOADABLE DISCUSSION GUIDE AVAILABLE 209Talks is the community engagement project of Class Dismissed. Like a book club for radio, 209Talks provides a discussion guide for themes raised in the documentary and the community media blog. Because these themes are universal, anyone anywhere could host a community dialogue using audio clips to explore the issues around high school dropout and how to support young people to lead healthy lives. Go to 209Talks .

Back to Basics - An American Graduate Special

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union Spring 2013 Season series | 53:53

In this American Graduate special, State of the Re:Union takes a closer look at school, community, and the drop out crisis in this country. With reporting from both urban and rural schools, and interviews with education experts, SOTRU goes “ back to the basics”, looking at strategies that get to the heart of what makes students want to learn.

Sotrupromo_medium_small

State of the Re:Union
Back to Basics - An American Graduate Special 

In this American Graduate special, State of the Re:Union takes a closer look at school, community, and the drop out crisis in this country.  With reporting from both urban and rural schools, and interviews with education experts, SOTRU goes “ back to basics”, looking at strategies that get to the heart of what makes students want to learn. 

Billboard (:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: I'm Al Letson
Outcue: That's ahead on State of the Re:Union

A-1.  Episode Intro
Host Al Letson reflects on his own challenges at school and the teacher who kept him from “falling through the cracks.”

A-2.  Roxy’s Story
Can dropping out ever be the right choice?  Writer and musician Roxy Haji performs her story of cycling through 16 schools before she turned 16 before deciding to drop out and pursue an education on her own terms.  

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson
Outcue: P-R-X-DOT-O-R-G

B-1.  Interview with Russell Rumberger
Host Al Letson interviews Professor Russell Rumberger, who has researched the drop-out rate in America, and the consequences for kids who quit school, for over 30 years.  Rumberger explains the reasons students leave school, the ways the decision affects their lives, and describes  a surprisingly simple solution for inspiring high-risk students stay in school.

B-2.  Rosemary at the Farm… in Brooklyn
We visit a middle school in Brooklyn in a district where only about half of students graduate and discover an innovation that’s drawing one 8th grader to her school like a magnet.  Reported by State of the Re:Union contributor Marietta Synodis.     

B-3.  Dear Mrs. Fleming
In a spin on State of the Re:Union’s “Dear City” letters series, we hear a Dear Teacher letter from Queens, NY resident Toni Perreira.  Toni introduces us to Mrs. Fleming, founder of an extraordinary school where the students learn not just from books but from the world around them.  

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson…
Outcue: This is N-P-R.

C-1. Bittersweet Ozarks
When Ellen Gray Massey was recruited to teach at a rural one-room-school in the Missouri Ozarks, she found that the students taught her how to teach them.  One magical year exploring the rivers, streams and traditions of the Ozarks later inspired Miss Massey to found a groundbreaking student-run magazine called Bittersweet.  Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Bittersweet students roamed the Ozarks documenting the local culture and crafts, and discovering their own history in the process.  

C-2. Everton School 
Albert Bryant has to remind his students to call him “Mr. Bryant”, because most of them know him simply as Albert.  Just 23 years old, Albert teaches math at the same tiny K-12 school he attended in his hometown of Everton.  Mr. Bryant has founded a new student club that he hopes will bring an economic kick-start to a town with few employment opportunities—and change the way that students think about their hometown in the process.  

C-3.  Interview with Dr. Jerry Johnson
Host Al Letson interviews rural schools expert Dr. Jerry Johnson on the unique connections between schools and their communities in small towns across America.

C-4.  Wrap-up / Montage
Al closes the episode with a reflection on education and a montage of voices from teachers and students.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Broadcast Window Begins 04/26/2013

The Spring 2013 Season of State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) will be available beginning April 26, 2013, on PRX and the Content Depot without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to December 31, 2013. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only. 

State of the Re:Union is produced by Al Letson, presented by PRX, and co-distributed by NPR and PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. Please contact your NPR Stations relations person or Deborah Blakeley at Blakeley & Company, LLC, at blakeley.deb@gmail.com with questions or to confirm carriage.

 

Summer in Sanctuary - An American Graduate Special

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union Spring 2013 Season series | 53:53

Every day in America, more than 7,000 students drop out of school. In a State of the Re:Union first, this episode combines radio drama and documentary to explore America's dropout epidemic through the intimate story of one man's attempt to make a difference in the lives of a group of high-risk kids. Based on the celebrated off-broadway show by SOTRU host Al Letson, this episode chronicles Letson's journey teaching at a summer camp at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida.  Told through monologue, poetry, song and sound-rich reporting, this episode challenges perceptions about race, class and education, taking listeners beyond the statistics to reveal the unseen challenges and complexities facing students in communities across the country.

Sotrupromo_medium_small State of the Re:Union
Summer in Sanctuary - An American Graduate Special

Every day in America, more than 7,000 students drop out of school. In a State of the Re:Union first, this episode combines radio drama and documentary to explore America's dropout epidemic through the intimate story of one man's attempt to make a difference in the lives of a group of high-risk kids. Based on the celebrated off-broadway show by SOTRU host Al Letson, this episode chronicles Letson's journey teaching at a summer camp at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida.  Told through monologue, poetry, song and sound-rich reporting, this episode challenges perceptions about race, class and education, taking listeners beyond the statistics to reveal the unseen challenges and complexities facing students in communities across the country.

Billboard (:59)
Incude: "From P-R-X and N-P-R"
Outcue: "...first this news"

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: "You're listening to."
Outcue: "on State of the Re:Union"

A. The Sanctuary & the Statistics
We begin the episode in the playground at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in a low-income part of Jacksonville, Florida that provides a summer camp and after-school support to kids from the area. Host Al Letson introduces us to the place—and to the tough statistics that face the kids in this community, and all over the country: it’s estimated that 7-thousand students drop out every school day. And, if they do, they’re 3.5 times more likely to end up incarcerated. Those are the numbers through which Al frames his decision to try to help a group of kids at the Sanctuary avoid becoming more statistics.

B. Battle One: Angela
As a new teacher at the Sanctuary on 8th Street’s summer camp, Al is thrust into battles he hadn’t anticipated, each with its own lesson. Battle one is with Angela, an 8-year-old who inexplicably throws a tantrum at camp, and tests Al’s understanding of what motivated him to come to work at the Sanctuary.

C. Meet the Boys
Act One of Summer in Sanctuary wraps up with Al introducing listeners to the teenage boys who are at this story’s center… and their resistance to all of the writing lessons that Al is attempting to teach.

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: "You're listening to"
Outcue: "P-R-X.ORG"

A. Battle Two: Basketball
In an effort to acclimate Al to the ups and downs of the Sanctuary, its director, Vicky Watkins, suggests he perform a poem for all of the kids. He resists, but ultimately ends up doing a moving rendition of “The Ball, The Rim & Him,” his poem about a young basketball player dreaming of stardom. The kids at the Sanctuary, however, are less than appreciative, barely applauding when he’s finished. And, of course, the subject matter of the poem gives Al his next battle with his students-- this time, on the court. Deron challenges him to a basketball game, and Al accepts, ultimately getting his first win of respect from the boys, even if he and Deron tie the game.

B. Al’s Video
Back in the classroom, Al is still trying to get the boys interested in writing, this time through showing them videos of performance poetry. The ensuing conversation reveals to Al that the writing he’d always experienced as a liberation, these boys view as a form of punishment. Still mulling that, Al gives a ride home to one of the boys, Biko, which sets him thinking about the gentrification of this rough neighborhood, and what impact it might have on his students.

C. Battle Three: Danita
Back at the Sanctuary, Al is in for his most challenging confrontation with a student yet. The boys are a handful, but they’re nothing compared with one sassy teenge girl, Danita. Al’s failure to keep her quiet and engaged during a story circle has him feeling exhausted with the unending battles of teaching at the Sanctuary.

D. Biko & the Gun
 Al learns that one of the boys, Biko, has been shot at in an altercation in his neighborhood. This inspires a poem from Al that considers Biko’s story as an immigrant from Africa and the harshness of the streets he arrived in in Florida.

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: "I'm Al Letson and ..."
Outcue: "This is N-P-R"

A. Biko & the Gun continued
Al learns the whole story of what happened with Biko and the man who pulled a gun on him in his neighborhood. Vicky, the director of the Sanctuary, mentions to Al that she wishes she could get Biko and the boys out of town until things have blown over. After wrestling with himself about it, Al volunteers to take Biko—and all the boys—up to Baltimore, where he’s performing for a weekend.

B. The Cop and the Handshake
Driving on their way north towards Baltimore, Al is pulled over by a white policeman in South Carolina, for no apparent reason. The incident inspires him to think about the complex racial dynamics of the situation, and how they’re perceived—or misperceived-- by the boys in his car.  He ends up offering the cop a handshake, a move that shakes up the boys’ understanding of how a black man relates to the police, and sets the tone for a trip to Baltimore that solidifies Al’s relationship his students.

C. When Biko Gets Home
On the way back from Baltimore, Al starts a tough conversation with Biko and the boys about how they’ll handle the tense situation in their neighborhood at home. They end up coming up with a plan to make their own video about the incident, to explore what happened. The video the boys make with Al ends up being such a success that all the kids at the Sanctuary want to make one. Al is thrilled to have stumbled into an activity that finally engages the kids—until Biko disappears.

D. It’s Not a Question of “Saving”
The summer ends with Al questioning whether he has made any impact at all in the lives of these kids. Vicky calls with the news that Biko has been shot, though not seriously. Al thinks about whether Biko will make it or not, and finally concludes that the Hollywood narrative of a motivated teacher waltzing in to “save” a kid is not as simple as it’s made out to be. But he ends the episode on a note of hope: a teacher can have an impact. Even in the case of Biko: his life may have not followed the path that one might want, but the Sanctuary has made a difference in his life.

E. The Boys Today
The story ends with a montage from the actual boys—Biko, Deron and the rest—giving an update on their lives, where they are today. Despite having dropped out of high school, Biko has managed to get his GED and is now in college.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Broadcast Window Begins 09/28/2012

THIS EPISODE INCLUDES SOME VIOLENCE AND THE FOLLOWING INTENSE DIALOGUE:
Seg A. 11:40 - "Hell"
Seg B.  00:55 - "Damn" 10:34 - "Hell Yeah"

The Fall 2012 Season of State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) will be available September 28, 2012 on PRX and the Content Depot without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to December 31, 2012. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is produced by Al Letson, presented by PRX, and co-distributed by NPR and PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This episode made possible with help from the American Graduate Initiative.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. Please contact your NPR Stations relations person or Deborah Blakeley at Blakeley & Company, LLC, at blakeley.deb@gmail.com with questions or to confirm carriage.

Dropouts to Graduates: The Story of the Care Center - An American Graduate Special

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union Fall 2013 Series series | 53:53

Say you meet a teenager. She’s 16, and she’s already dropped out of school. Now, she’s pregnant, due in a few months. She’s on her own, as her boyfriend disappeared when news of the baby came out. She doesn’t have a job, and is hoping her mom won’t kick her out of the house. What would your expectations for her be? What do you think she’ll achieve? If you’re in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the answer to those questions might be very different from the predictable one of hopelessness and dim futures. That’s because Holyoke is home to the Care Center, an alternative school just for pregnant and parenting teens who’ve dropped out of high school. It’s not your typical GED program, either: it’s modeled on a prep school, so students are learning fencing, rowing, yoga and poetry along with basic math and reading. Their personal histories are fraught with homelessness, domestic violence, gangs, food insecurity—the entire student body is living at or below 50 % of the poverty level, and 2/3rds of them dropped out of high school by the 10th grade. Despite all that, between 70 and 85 percent of Care Center students go on to college. In this American Graduate special, State of the Re:Union goes deep inside this school—learning its philosophy and the life stories of students and teachers—to explore what it takes to turn a teen mom’s life around.

Sotru_profile-pic_01_small State of the Re:Union
Dropouts to Graduates: The Story of the Care Center - An American Graduate Special

Say you meet a teenager. She’s 16, and she’s already dropped out of school. Now, she’s pregnant, due in a few months. She’s on her own, as her boyfriend disappeared when news of the baby came out. She doesn’t have a job, and is hoping her mom won’t kick her out of the house. What would your expectations for her be? What do you think she’ll achieve? If you’re in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the answer to those questions might be very different from the predictable one of hopelessness and dim futures. That’s because Holyoke is home to the Care Center, an alternative school just for pregnant and parenting teens who’ve dropped out of high school. It’s not your typical GED program, either: it’s modeled on a prep school, so students are learning fencing, rowing, yoga and poetry along with basic math and reading. Their personal histories are fraught with homelessness, domestic violence, gangs, food insecurity—the entire student body is living at or below 50 % of the poverty level, and 2/3rds of them dropped out of high school by the 10th grade. Despite all that, between 70 and 85 percent of Care Center students go on to college. In this American Graduate special, State of the Re:Union goes deep inside this school—learning its philosophy and the life stories of students and teachers—to explore what it takes to turn a teen mom’s life around. 

Billboard (:59)
Incue: "I'm Al Letson and you're"
Outcue: "...first this news"

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: "You're listening to"
Outcue: "ahead on State of the Re:Union."

A-1. Baby Stroller Parking Lot
 
We open the episode at the entrance to the Care Center which is, quite literally, a baby stroller parking lot. All of the school’s 40 students are mothers, so the school’s on-site day care is a zoo of kids, daily. This scene affords us the opportunity to meet a couple of students (and their children) and introduce listeners to the school and the ideas we’ll be exploring in the episode. 

A-2. The Holyoke Story
All of the work being done at the Care Center must be framed by the enormous challenges being faced by its students, poverty top among them. And so, before we get too deep into the story of the school, itself, listeners need to know a bit of the story of the community it’s based in. Holyoke has the perfect storm of conditions for a high teen birth rate. It’s one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts, with a high unemployment rate. It has a very dropout rate; in recent years, not even half the students who start the 9th grade in Holyoke graduate. Mix that with a lack of sex ed in schools (until very recently) and you have a city with the highest teen birth rate in the state. 


A-3. Fencing, Yoga and the GED
With that frame of history and statistics in mind, we dive into the Care Center, the challenges it faces and the philosophy that governs it. Here’s what they have to do: engage students who don’t like school. Teach them enough to pass their GED—something that has eluded many of these women who’ve tried other programs. The Care Center approaches this with ideas that started out as a kind of experiment. 

They asked, what makes prep schools—the best education money can buy-- so successful? Equal exposure to the arts, humanities and athletics as well as basic academics, small class sizes, and an “assumption of and commitment to student success.” That means, for the first time in these students’ lives in some cases, their teachers expect them to go to college. They expect them to join the rowing team. They expect them to have intellectual hunger and capacity. And, often to the surprise of the students themselves, all of these become true. 

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: "You're listening to …"
Outcue: "P-R-X-DOT-O-R-G"

B-1. Kim’s Story
Kim Chambers has had more hardship packed into her 18 years than many do in a whole lifetime. She was abandoned by her birth mother as an infant, left with a stranger in Mexico whom she didn’t know for years was not her actual mom. At age 13, she struck out on her own, eager to pursue an education, and unable to do so in the rural part of Mexico she was raised. For much of her teenage years, she bounced from house to house, holing herself up in the library when she had nowhere else to go. At 17, she got pregnant by her much-older boyfriend, but he proved to have restrictive ideas of what she could be: wanting her to stay home and be a housewife, instead of pursuing a career. And so, with an infant in tow, she came to the United States by herself, to get her G.E.D. and go to college (She’s a U.S. citizen, having been born here before being taken to Mexico). Landing in Springfield with a family friend, she found the Care Center, and there, she has flourished. She’s discovered poetry, and a strong poetic voice. She’s discovering literature and art history through the Clemente college course. She’s set to take her G.E.D. tests in January, with the hope of, someday, becoming a lawyer. Kim says her daughter, Jamie, is her motivation to succeed, and The Care Center, she says, is “the start of the way. I was lost. And from the beginning point that is the Care Center, a lot of branches and a lot of ways open.”

B-2. Poetry and the Coincidence of History
Twelve years ago, a journalist named Tzivia Gover made a radical life change. After a visit to a class at the Care Center, she left her job as a daily news reporter to teach poetry to these teenage moms. Little did she know that in doing so, she was fulfilling a historical legacy of incredible coincidence. With her students, Tzivia learned that their school building was once home to Elizabeth Towne (1865-1960), an early suffragist and leader of the New Thought movement (precursor of today’s New Age movement). It turns out that Towne herself was a teen mother who left school at age fourteen to marry. Unhappy in her marriage, she divorced her first husband and set out on her own, supporting herself by publishing a magazine that went on to become the nation’s leading New Thought journal. The magazine was called The Nautilus, and it was published from the very building that now houses the Care Center. So, when Tzivia’s students were churning out their own poems, they decided to launch a poetry journal and dub it The Nautilus II, in honor of Towne. The journal is published annually, featuring the poems of the teen mom students at the Center. 

B-3. Teaching a Teen Mom Plato
Many of the student moms at the Care Center have trouble just putting food on the table for the kids, and paying the electric bill every month. So, one might argue, what’s the use of enrolling them in a college course that teaches philosophy, art history and literature? And, for kids who didn’t ever seem to enjoy school, how do you convince them they’ll like it? Such is the charge for the Clemente Course in the Humanities, an usual and innovative program that the Care Center offers, along with 15 other organizations across the country. The course was called by its founder “an avenue to reflection,” and is founded on the idea that low-income people need more than just the practical skills required to get a job—they need the tools to ponder the world the live in, in order to lift themselves out of poverty. At the Care Center, it’s taught by a handful of local college professors, who come two days a week to teach students about everything from Plato to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.”  And it works: Clemente Course graduates not only earn credits from Bard College, they say it’s given them a new perspective on their lives. As one student said, weeks into the philosophy portion of the course, "there's a word for the kinds of problems I think about all the time: metaphysics."

That’s the kind of expansion the Care Center is looking for.  “There’s a way in which the course asks people to examine their life and what they are seeing around them more deeply,” says Anne Teschner. “Living in poverty can be very constricting, so to bring those more expansive ideas into the world of people struggling economically is really empowering.”


SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: "You're listening to State of the Re:Union ..."
Outcue: "This is N-P-R" 

C-1. Making the Care Center Happen: 
In this segment, we dig into the nuts and bolts of making a program like the Care Center’s happen. How much does it cost? And could it be a model for other places? In addition to hearing from Anne Teschner, we speak with a local education consultant in Massachusetts, both about the promise of the Care Center, and the expense—the hurdles to it happening elsewhere.

C-2. Transforming What You Think It Means to be a Mom 
Students aren’t the only ones learning lessons at the Care Center: the staff is too. And the lessons they’re gleaning are as much about motherhood as education. In this segment, we hear the story of the school’s education director, Ana Rodriguez. A teen mom herself, she’s made helping other teen moms get an education her personal mission. However, she had to reflect on her role as both a mother and a teacher anew when her own daughter ended up getting pregnant as a teenager and attending the Care Center. From Ana’s story, we hear how poetry teacher Tzivia Gover had her own revelation about the teen mothers at the Care Center. From having thought that getting pregnant as a teenager was a kind of life catastrophe, Tzivia realized that for some of these girls, having a baby was their avenue to a better life, the motivation they needed to pursue an education.

C-3. Dear Care Center
Students at the Care Center write a letter to the school, describing how they feel about it, and their role this place has played in their lives. 

C-4. You Get Your G.E.D… Then What? 
There’s a lot of talk about college at the Care Center. For a lot of students, it still feels like a far off dream. But it turns out figuring out how to dream about what they want to do after college is a big part of making it a reality. The Care Center includes as a required course a class about the transition from college to work, and most of that is aimed at expanding student’s idea of what jobs they could do. Jude, the teacher of the class, says for many of these students, their world has been frighteningly small. If you ask a lot of students what they “want to be when they grow up,” they say the same things over and over: nurse and cop, because those are the only jobs they’ve seen that look stable. So, a big piece of what Jude’s class does is try to broaden that world, to actually engage students’ imaginations, encourage them to dream as big as they can. And Care Center grads do go on to execute those dreams. Roxanne Roman just got her associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and is waiting to hear back from the local police academy to live her dream of being a cop. 

C-5. Final Reflection and Montage 
Al reflects on his own experience as a teen father, and then we hear a montage of thoughts from the students and staff of the Care Center as to how it helps students craft a new, alternate vision of their future.


PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Broadcast Window Begins 04/26/2013

The Spring 2013 Season of State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) will be available beginning April 26, 2013, on PRX and the Content Depot without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to December 31, 2013. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only. 

State of the Re:Union is produced by Al Letson, presented by PRX, and co-distributed by NPR and PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. Please contact your NPR Stations relations person or Deborah Blakeley at Blakeley & Company, LLC, at blakeley.deb@gmail.com with questions or to confirm carriage. 

 

Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools are Failing Black Students (54:00 and 59:00)

From Nancy Solomon | 59:01

This documentary won a 2010 Peabody Award. Nationwide, suburban schools are doing a good job educating white students, but those schools are not getting the same results with black and Latino students. This documentary tells the story of a suburban high school with lots of resources and a diverse student body that is struggling to close the minority achievement gap.

Mtg_prx_image_small

Award-winning NPR Reporter Nancy Solomon
takes you inside a school to hear a discussion on race in the classroom.  Listen as students try to explain what went wrong with their education. Join her at the kitchen table with black middle-class parents who thought that a move to the suburbs would ensure school success. Find out how the school's best teachers motivate their students. Be a fly on the wall in the busy dean's office where where kids with discipline problems land.

Two versions are available. The 54-minute version has a music-filled news hole and one-minute music breaks at :19 and :39 for station cutaways. The 59-minute version has additional content to cover the news hole (not music), and the same station breaks at :19 and 39.  The promos have 6-sec music tails for station tag.

A digital media package is available free to all stations that includes a call to action, audio slideshows and links for more information. To preview or to link to: www.nancycsolomon.com

Funded by the Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting and free to all stations.

Snap Judgment #312: Teacher, Teacher

From Snap Judgment | Part of the Snap Judgment hosted by Glynn Washington - Specials series | 53:58

We’ve all had a teacher we’ve loved, who changed our lives and believed in us. And we’ve all had teachers we can’t stand, that made us pretend to be sick in the morning so we didn’t have to go to school. Today, we’re bringing you stories from the classroom. From the hallowed halls of learning where, while kids stuff each other in lockers and pass notes betweens desks, America’s heroes are trying to teach them something.

Teacherteacher240x240_small Potty Mouth
As a teacher, Glynn takes an unorthodox approach to discipline a little too far . . .

Producer: Renzo Gorrio and Mark Ristich


The Life of Brian
Not everyone’s born with a gift. But that’s where teachers step in. Poet and storyteller David Perez takes us into the classroom for a day in the life of Brian.  David Perez continues to teach and is the author of the poetry collection, “Love in a Time of Robot Apocalypse” available from Write Bloody Publishing. Find more at www.thedavidperez.com.

Producer: Jamie DeWolf and Renzo Gorrio


Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
Teacher Barbara Shipka encounters an unexpected challenge when she meets Ben because Ben isn’t just any old problem child.  Ben is a genius.

Producer: Julia DeWitt


Real School
A six year old girl is faced with a terrifying teacher and finds a secret weapon.  

Producer: Anna Sussman

Homeless Opera
Matt Peacock had two very different jobs--working as an opera critic and at the local homeless shelter. He never thought the two would ever have anything to do with one another, until a thoughtless quote in the newspaper changed everything.

Check out Streetwise Opera here, where you can check out past and upcoming performances and donate to their cause.

Producer: Stephanie Foo, Hannah Andrassy and Loftus Productions.


Father Dennis
Justin Sweeney’s mother was a gambler, and his childhood was difficult. When it became clear that he had to make it on his own, who would take care of him?

Thanks to Justin Sweeney for his story! Justin submitted his story on our website. Submit your own right here!

Producer: Stephanie Foo


Learning to read
When Joe Buford’s wife hands him a letter and asks him to read it, Joe confides in her one of his biggest secrets.

This story was produced by Story Corps.


Writing on the wall
A mother does everything it takes to help her child learn to read, but all she had to do was take her on the road.

Producer: Jamie DeWolf, Anna Sussman

Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School (Series)

Produced by WUNC

Free! - Ten part series about challenges facing a public high school in North Carolina

Most recent piece in this series:

Part 1: Welcome to Western Guilford

From WUNC | Part of the Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School series | 08:13

Wghs_small  Western Guilford High School is a "typical" public high school, and it's dealing with the pressures of growth, economic and demographic change, and high stakes testing.  In this piece, Deborah George has an introduction to the people and the sounds of the school, and the challenges the school is facing.

"Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School" is a ten part documentary series about a public high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. A team of reporters spent six months at the school to document how a ?typical? high school is dealing with some daunting new realities. Schools across the country are facing similar challenges: ? Expanded testing requirements: Complying with the federal ?No Child Left Behind Act? and the North Carolina ?ABCs of Public Education? means tests, tests, and more tests. The result is a radical shift in the traditional rhythms of high school and big changes in what students are learning and how teachers are teaching. ? A worsening teacher shortage: North Carolina needs 10,000 new teachers annually to fill classroom vacancies, yet the state?s teaching colleges are only turning out 3,000 a year. At the same time, many new teachers burn out quickly, and veteran teachers are increasingly frustrated with the direction of public education, and wondering whether they?ll stay. ? Demographic change: NC has one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the nation, meaning schools have to figure out ways to teach thousands of students whose first languages can be Spanish, Tagolog, Urdu or Arabic. Supporting those students, helping them learnEnglish, and making sure they pass standardized tests, is a challenge for high schools. ? A radically changed economy: The manufacturing and agriculture jobs that once fueled the North Carolina economy are fast disappearing, replaced by jobs that require more skills and higher education. Some educators say high schools must prepare all students for college. Others say high schools can?t forget students who might not be headed for higher education. ?Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School? was produced for the series ?North Carolina Voices: Studying High School? on North Carolina Public Radio ? WUNC. The series originally aired in May 2006. For more about the series, please visit http://wunc.org/voices A script for each radio piece, including a suggested host introduction, is attached here. Please feel free to edit intros.

Schooled: Teens' Stories About American Public Education

From KUOW | Part of the Curated Youth Radio Programs from KUOW and Generation PRX series | 55:59

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.

The Dropout Dilemma

From WXXI | 58:57

THE DROP OUT DILEMMA IS SPECIAL CONVERSATION ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS IN THE ROCHESTER AREA. THE WXXI NEWS TEAM HAS BEEN TAKING AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT HOW SERIOUS THE PROBLEM REALLY IS. WE HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME REPORTING ABOUT THE COMPLEX AND DEEP-ROOTED REASONS WHY THE GRADUATION RATE IN THE ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT IS SO LOW. AND IT’S CLEAR, THERE ARE NO EASY, QUICK SOLUTIONS.

Playing
The Dropout Dilemma
From
WXXI

Dropout_dilema_still_small   BUT THE PEOPLE WE TALKED TO AGREE  –
THE PROBLEM WON’T GO AWAY UNTIL ENTIRE COMMUNITIES – NOT JUST SCHOOL DISTRICTS OR GOVERNMENTS  --  DIG IN AND FIND WAYS TO START FIXING WHAT IS BROKEN.  AND THEN, OFFICIALS SAY, THOSE COMMUNITIES NEED TO BE WILLING TO “STICK IT OUT”.
     SO WHERE DOES THAT WILL COME FROM?  PERHAPS IT COMES FROM UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING THE DROPOUT CRISIS AS A COMMUNITY PROBLEM.   A PROBLEM THAT WE ALL FACE AND THAT WE MUST OVERCOME TOGETHER.
    WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT HOW A COMMUNITY THAT SEES HUNDREDS OF TEENAGERS DROP OUT EVERY YEAR IS IMPACTED BY THAT STEADY FLOW OF YOUNG PEOPLE OUT OF THE CLASSROOM.  FIRST WE’LL HEAR FROM A PANEL OF EXPERTS.  WE’LL ALSO MEET SOME YOUNG PEOPLE WHO SEE THE AFFECTS CLOSEUP -- IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS, HOMES, AND LIVES.

Early Lessons

From American Public Media | Part of the American RadioWorks: Focus on Education series | 54:00

There’s been a quiet revolution in America’s schools over recent decades. We’ve added an extra grade to a child’s education: Preschool. (10/29/2009)

Early_lessons_promo_photo_500_small There’s been a quiet revolution in America’s schools over recent decades. We’ve added a whole extra grade to a child’s education: Preschool. Economists love preschool. They say it’s the smartest way to spend public money, especially in a tight economy. And they have lots of data to prove it: Preschool is perhaps the most researched idea in all of education. "Early Lessons", the RTDNA/Unity-award winning documentary, takes us back to the 1960s to tell the story of a landmark experiment that helped launch the preschool movement. Fifty years later, researchers are still learning powerful lessons for today’s youngest students.

Put to the Test

From American Public Media | Part of the American RadioWorks: Focus on Education series | 54:00

There’s been a dramatic change in public education over the past 10 years and it’s all about numbers. (9/6/2007)

Testing_the_schoolsprx_small There’s been a dramatic change in public education over the past 10 years and it’s all about numbers. Schools across the country are using standardized tests to measure just about everything about student performance. And these tests can have stark consequences. School closures, student diplomas, teacher pay raises – all are increasingly linked to test results. This documentary examines how high-stakes testing took root in American classrooms and what effect it is having. "Put to the Test" brings these questions to life through a portrait of Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina over the course of two school years.

Testing Teachers

From American Public Media | Part of the American RadioWorks: Focus on Education series | 54:00

Kids need good teachers. It’s something people know instinctively. But experts disagree over how to measure teacher quality. (8/26/2010)

Curtis-at-board_0590_small

Kids need good teachers. It’s something people know in their gut, but it's only recently that researchers have begun developing ways to measure the quality of teachers. What they’re learning is shaking up schools and leading education reformers to call for radical changes in the way teachers are trained and evaluated – and the way they are hired and fired too.

"Testing Teachers" is an award-winning documentary that takes us to some of the nation’s poorest schools to understand why teacher quality is fast becoming the next frontier in the fight to equalize educational opportunity in the United States.

Russell Rumberger on America's Dropout Crisis

From WNPR | 50:19

A conversation with Russell Rumberger, author of Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of School and What Can be Done About It.

Sidewalk_flyingprx_small Former NPR correspondent Andrea Seabrook talks to Russell Rumberger about the high school drop out crisis in America. Rumberger is Vice Provost for Education Partnerships at the University of California Office of the President and Professor of Education at UC Santa Barbara. He also directs the California Dropout Research Project. He has written about dropouts for the past 30 years and is author of Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of School and What Can be Done About It.  

An edited version of this interview was featured in Left Behind, Dropping Out, a documentary produced as part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success. 

AMERICAN GRADUATE: KEEPING KIDS IN SCHOOL

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 48:53

An estimated 16,000 kids dropped out of school in North Carolina last year. That’s a slight improvement from the year before, but it’s clear that much more needs to be done to make school a welcoming and academically challenging place for many of the state’s students.

Image_thumb_small An estimated 16,000 kids dropped out of school in North Carolina last year. That’s a slight improvement from the year before, but it’s clear that much more needs to be done to make school a welcoming and academically challenging place for many of the state’s students. Join host Frank Stasio and UNC-TV’s Heather Burgiss for a special conversation about how to keep kids in the classroom. This program was recorded before a studio audience at UNC-TV with a panel of education experts including June Atkinson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction; New Hanover High School Principal Todd Finn; Joel Rosch, Senior Research Scholar at Duke University’s Center for Child & Family Policy; and Karolyn Tyson, associate professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of “Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White After Brown” (Oxford University Press/2011).

Watch American Graduate on PBS. See more from UNC-TV Presents.


Segments (9:00-23:59)

American Graduate: Poetic Justice Part 2 - Graduation Day

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 10:23

WUNC is a part of the American Graduate Project. It's a public media initiative looking at the drop out crisis across the country. As a part of this project we commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to teach a writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham.

Image_small WUNC is a part of the American Graduate Project. It's a public media initiative looking at the drop out crisis across the country. As a part of this project we commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to teach a writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. Over the last 10 weeks, Kane and Will taught a group of students how to use poetry to tell their own stories. Today is graduation day at Northern—and three of the students from our workshop will be receiving their diplomas.

Arne Duncan on America's Dropout Crisis

From WNPR | 16:24

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks about the high school dropout crisis in America.

Duncanarne_small Former NPR correspondent Andrea Seabrook talks to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about the high school dropout crisis in America. An edited version of this interview was featured in Left Behind, Dropping Out, a documentary produced as part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success. 


Cutaways (5:00-8:59)

Class of 2025: Summer's Haves and Have-nots

From Oregon Public Broadcasting | Part of the American Graduate - Class of 2025 series | 06:08

It's three weeks until school starts in Oregon. It can't come too soon for parents who are struggling to keep their kids fed, supervised, and learning, over the summer.

2025logo_small It's three weeks until school starts in Oregon. It can't come too soon for parents who are struggling to keep their kids fed, supervised, and learning, over the summer.
 
OPB has been following a cohort of Oregon kids in the Class of 2025. They'll be in second grade soon. Rob Manning will visit with a few of those kids - as part of a broader look at what summer means for students in Oregon.

WNYC's Educating on the Edge (Series)

Produced by WNYC

A series of reports from a high school in Brooklyn where educators and counselors work with students at risk of dropping out. We hear directly from students, teachers and others on the front line of dropout prevention.

Most recent piece in this series:

Eyes Off the Goal: When Sports Rule and School Suffers

From WNYC | Part of the WNYC's Educating on the Edge series | 07:35

Eddie_small

What should be the balance between school and competitive team sports? As leagues become increasingly competitive, some kids struggle to invest enough time and energy in the classroom, as well as on the playing field.

Radio Rookie Edward Munoz put everything into soccer, where he was a rising star, but cut classes and rarely did his homework. Edward’s mom knew what was going on and tried desperately to get him to go to class and do his work, but his dad was kept in the dark. He never asked about Edward’s education.

Alejandro Munoz only focused on his son’s soccer playing, devoting 20 hours a week to driving Edward to practice and games. He dreamed Edward would become a professional, just as he had hoped to do as a young man in Peru.

At 14, Edward injured his ankle during practice one day. After a month of rehab, he returned to soccer but struggled with pain and fear of getting hurt again. Even though he played for 3 more years, he was never the top player he’d been. As his grandmother said, “You were a star, but now you’re shattered.” With the hope of becoming a professional fading, and his grades in even worse shape, Edward realized he had to turn something around.

LISTEN to hear how Edward takes responsibility for his future and questions his father for the first time about why he only focused on soccer, and not his education.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

How Edward chose soccer performance over school performance:

I never felt like I was supposed to be in school. While everybody else was learning and getting smarter, I felt dumb. But as soon as I walked onto the soccer field I was away from everything, I felt free, doing something I loved.  

How Edward’s dad was both his biggest fan and his worst critic:

My dad would spend 20 hours a week driving me to practice and games. He was dedicated to making me into a professional player. I knew my dad would be happy whenever I had a good game. But if I had a bad game my dad would say, “you have the most experience, played for so many teams but you looked like “la peor basura”----worst garbage on the field.”

Diploma en Mano (Series)

Produced by Radio Bilingue

Diploma en Mano es una serie de reportajes y programas producidos por Radio Bilingue sobre asuntos educativos que contribuyan al éxito o no de los estudiantes latinos en los Estados Unidos. La serie es parte de American Graduate, Let's Make it Happen!, una iniciativa de los medios públicos para tratar la crisis de deserción escolar, con el apoyo de la Corporación para la Difusión Pública.

Diploma en Mano is a series of feature stories and talk shows produced by Radio Bilingue on educational issues contributing to the school success or failure of Latino students in the United States. The series is part of American Graduate – Let’s Make It Happen! – a public media initiative to address the drop-out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Most recent piece in this series:

Robotics Club Inspires Latinos to Study Science

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 05:59

Diannavalenzuela2_small Latinos have long been under-represented in math, science, and technology careers. Though Latino college students choose these majors in numbers relatively comparable to non-Latino white students, they end up graduating with a degree in these fields at a much lower rate. In Phoenix, Arizona, a robotics club is trying to change this trend. The club has become a springboard for Latino students to go on to graduate from college with degrees in technology, math, and science. It's the focus of a recent documentary and an upcoming George Lopez movie, Spare Parts. Valeria Fernández went to see what the club is like today. 

North Carolina Teacher Project (Series)

Produced by WUNC

The North Carolina Teacher Project is a year-long look at the teaching profession, told through in-depth feature stories, comprehensive policy discussions on The State of Things, intimate conversations between students and teachers, and multimedia presentations.

Most recent piece in this series:

The Year Of The Teacher

From WUNC | Part of the North Carolina Teacher Project series | 50:28

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When the school year begins in 2014, 95,000 teachers will report back to work in North Carolina, ready to teach more than 1.5 million kids. The teachers will have a raise, but will that ease the lingering resentment and outright anger of the past year, when many protested a wide range of new state policies? Reporter Dave DeWitt looks back at a tumultuous twelve months for teachers and public education in a one-hour documentary: “The Year of the Teacher in North Carolina.” 

Fighting the dropout rate for African-American youth

From KALW | 08:17

In 2011, about 82 percent of San Francisco’s students graduated from high school. Ten percent dropped out. Break it down by ethnic group and the numbers change in uncomfortable ways. For example, just 62.3 percent of the city’s African-American students graduated, and nearly 20 percent dropped out. The numbers for Latino students are similar. Kids need education and support, but resources are increasingly scarce. Often in these cases, in cities like San Francisco, nonprofits step in.

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In 2011, about 82 percent of San Francisco’s students graduated from high school. Ten percent dropped out. Break it down by ethnic group and the numbers change in uncomfortable ways. For example, just 62.3 percent of the city’s African-American students graduated, and nearly 20 percent dropped out. The numbers for Latino students are similar. Kids need education and support, but resources are increasingly scarce. Often in these cases, in cities like San Francisco, nonprofits step in. Resources for those organizations are limited, too, but it helps to be able to show pretty much constant success.

This year, San Francisco’s Omega Boys Club celebrates its 25th anniversary. It has spent that quarter century helping local boys and girlsget out of bad neighborhoods and into different mindsets.

The idea came to mind back in 1982, when Joe Marshall was teaching at Woodrow Wilson High School on the Southeast side of San Francisco. He thought he was pretty good at it, and by academic measures, he was. Then he realized that in a school serving low-income families, that wasn’t enough.

“They were getting A’s in math and F’s in life – and it’s tough to get a kid an A in math at 13 and go to his funeral at 19,” says Marshall.

Marshall said that he heard horror stories about his students.

“Many were ending up on drugs, in jail or pregnant,” says Marshall. “The worst thing to do was have to go to a funeral of a former student who was killed in a drug or gang-related incident.”

Marshall started to reflect on his own path. He’d grown up in St. Louis and then South Central L.A. As a young black man, he saw less than half of his African-American peers graduating from high school within four years.

Marshall had bucked the trend: he went to college at the University of San Francisco and became an advocate for civil rights. It wasn’t until he traveled to historically black colleges in the South that he found rooms full of African-American role models.

“It showed me that black men are way more than just thugs and non-serious students and athletes, I didn’t know anything at that time but it was great, I flourished,” says Marshall.

Marshall founded the Omega Boys Club with a fellow teacher, Jack Jacqua in 1987. It served both boys and girls in an after school program that offered academic tutoring and trained kids to stay off the streets, but Marshall says the program was not an immediate success.

“The early kids that I sent off to college did not do well, they weren’t prepared for college,” says Marshall. “I had a young man who wanted to go to college, very smart, a gang member who said he wanted to go to school, I sent him to college and he sold drugs on campus.”

In 1990, only 28 percent of African Americans who went to college got their degrees. Marshall realized the same problems were following many of them out of their neighborhoods.

“They get infected with a way of thinking. It’s really sad because you know when they have a virus, but they think they are ok,” says Marshall. “They think it’s bad luck, but no, they’ve been programmed that way.”

Programmed to fail. Once again, Marshall decided he could do more.

Andre Aikins remembers when Dr. Marshall visited his school: “He asked me a question, ‘How are you doing in school? I said man, I’m only here for a drivers’ license, he went ballistic!”

Dr. Marshall’s reaction to Aikins was a reaction he had to many kids who didn’t care about school. The story was a familiar one. In Aikins’ case he used to be a good student, and for that very reason kids jumped him, stole his money and made fun of him on the regular. He fought back, got into selling drugs, started ditching school.

Marshall made sure that Aikins could feel his disappointment. A week later, Aikins was at the Omega Boys Club, taking classes and focusing on his high school diploma. He got it, and then headed south to Grambling University.

Recently, Education Trust found that more African Americans succeed at colleges that engage both their academic and social lives at schools that identify dropout risks early. Support systems, it found, are just as important in higher education as they are in secondary school, where the Omega Boys Club began caring for Andre Aikins.

After attending Grambling University, Aikins became a Math teacher in Oakland and then a principle, and is now the Operations manager at the Omega Boys Club.

For the first time more than half of African Americans entering high school got their diploma within four years. It still lags far behind the rate for their white peers, who graduate at a 78 percent rate, but it’s progress.

Since 1987, the Omega Boys Club has helped more than 160 students graduate from high school. It’s become a model for similar programs around the country and abroad, including Haiti and Thailand, and South Africa, and still, Joe Marshall believes he can do more.

“I’m really excited about training more people and making more doctors," Marshall smiles. “There are people like me who want to help young people. I want to find them and train them so they can help young people where they are.”

Part 9: Card #10 (Sue)

From WUNC | Part of the Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School series | 08:09

Every year, hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the United States drop out of school. The reasons are many and each story is unique. Today, as we conclude our series from Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, Emily Hanford has the story of one young woman's struggle to stay in school.

Wghs_small "Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School" is a ten part documentary series about a public high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. A team of reporters spent six months at the school to document how a ?typical? high school is dealing with some daunting new realities. Similar challenges face schools across the country. Schools across the country are facing similar challenges: ? Expanded testing requirements: Complying with the federal ?No Child Left Behind Act? and the North Carolina ?ABCs of Public Education? means tests, tests, and more tests. The result is a radical shift in the traditional rhythms of high school and big changes in what students are learning and how teachers are teaching. ? A worsening teacher shortage: North Carolina needs 10,000 new teachers annually to fill classroom vacancies, yet the state?s teaching colleges are only turning out 3,000 a year. At the same time, many new teachers burn out quickly, and veteran teachers are increasingly frustrated with the direction of public education, and wondering whether they?ll stay. ? Demographic change: NC has one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the nation, meaning schools have to figure out ways to teach thousands of students whose first languages can be Spanish, Tagolog, Urdu or Arabic. Supporting those students, helping them learnEnglish, and making sure they pass standardized tests, is a challenge for high schools. ? A radically changed economy: The manufacturing and agriculture jobs that once fueled the North Carolina economy are fast disappearing, replaced by jobs that require more skills and higher education. Some educators say high schools must prepare all students for college. Others say high schools can?t forget students who might not be headed for higher education. "Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School" was produced for the series "North Carolina Voices: Studying High School" on North Carolina Public Radio ? WUNC. The series originally aired in May 2006. For more about the series, please visit http://wunc.org/voices A script for each radio piece, including a suggested host introduction, is attached here. Feel free to edit intros.

Picked in 3rd grade, dreaming bigger at graduation

From MPR News Stations | Part of the MPR News' Youth Series series | 07:12

In 2001, Tiara Bellaphant became part of an experiment. Third graders at seven low-performing Minneapolis and St. Paul schools were offered mentoring and college scholarships if they stayed enrolled in the district. It was an attempt to combat transiency and see if poor kids could beat the odds.

Tiara takes us inside her experience, and interviews those who made it with her, and those who didn't.

Tiara_graduation_small Almost a decade ago, third graders at seven high-poverty schools in the Twin Cities got an offer: Stay in school, and we'll give you $10,000 for college. There was just one condition -- the students had to stay enrolled in either the Minneapolis or St. Paul school district.

The offer came from the Minneapolis Foundation, which wanted to fight the problem of transiency, and get more kids to graduate and go to college.

One year later, one-third of the kids were already gone. The remaining students had scattered to more than 50 different schools.

Tiara Bellaphant made it all the way. She explains what it was like to be part of the experiment.

Youth Radio Institute: Fontezia Walker (American Graduate)

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 05:35

The series from the WUNC Youth Radio Institute concludes with a story from Fontezia Walker.

Fontezia_walker_small The series from the WUNC Youth Radio Institute concludes with a story from Fontezia Walker. She's 19 and had a number of setbacks while working towards her high school diploma. As you'll hear in this report, she and her sister struck out on their own -- by deciding to stay home. 

The WUNC Summer Youth Radio Institute was made possible by a grant from the 
Grable Foundation. It's part of WUNC's American Graduate Project -- an on-going series of reports and engagement activities exploring the drop-out crisis in North Carolina. Our American Graduate work is made possible by the contribution of WUNC listeners and through gifts from the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Farrington Foundation,GlaxoSmithKline, Goodnight Educational Foundation, State Farm, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

Fixing a "Dropout Factory"

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 05:27

In 2009, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and the State Department of Public Instruction took over the Halifax School System in Northeastern North Carolina. At the time, only about one third of students in Halifax high schools passed end of grade tests, and only about one-half graduated.

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In 2009, Governor Bev Perdue and the State Department of Public Instruction took over the Halifax School System in Northeastern North Carolina. At the time, only about one third of students in Halifax high schools passed end of grade tests, and only about one-half graduated.

Things have improved. Graduation rates have risen by 16 percent. But there’s still a long way to go. As part of WUNC's American Graduate series, Dave DeWitt visited Halifax Northwest High School to see how the turnaround is going.

American Graduate: Poetic Justice Part 1

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 05:19

American Graduate: A poetry program in Durham is using rhythm and rhyme to keep kids from making the choice to drop out of school.

Image__2__small WUNC is part of the American Graduate Project. It’s a public media initiative looking at education and the drop out crisis in North Carolina. It’s a big issue -- by some measurements – an estimated 1-in-4 high school students will drop out before graduation day. As a part of this project WUNC commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to host an after-school writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. Today we begin a series of poetic reflections on their classroom experience.


Drop-Ins (2:00-4:59)

High Stakes Tests And The Incentive To Cheat

From WCPN | Part of the StateImpact Ohio series | 03:41

Ohio third-graders are gearing up to take a reading test that could determine whether they are promoted or held back. In some states, high-stakes testing has driven educators to do the unthinkable: cheat. WOSU's Mandie Trimble reports for StateImpact Ohio about safeguards are in place across the state to lessen the chance of a standardized testing scandal.

Comcor_small Ohio third-graders are gearing up to take a reading test that could determine whether they are promoted or held back. In some states, high-stakes testing has driven educators to do the unthinkable: cheat. WOSU's Mandie Trimble reports for StateImpact Ohio about safeguards are in place across the state to lessen the chance of a standardized testing scandal.

The Link Between Pregnancy and High School Dropouts

From WCPN | Part of the StateImpact Ohio series | 03:44

More than 305,000 teenage girls gave birth across the country in 2012, according to data from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. And that goes hand in hand with another statistic: thirty percent of teen girls who drop out of high school cite parenthood as a reason. Continuing StateImpact Ohio's coverage of the high school dropout epidemic, reporter Amy Hansen examines the difficulties pregnant teens may face while trying to earn their diploma.

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Education Matters with Pedro Noguera (Series)

Produced by New Visions, New Voices

Internationally renowned education professor Pedro Noguera, Ph.D. provides cogent, provocative analyses of the most pressing Education Matters. Both through commentaries and weekly three-to-five-minute vignettes, Noguera engages parents, teachers, school administrators, policymakers and other education stakeholders on the vital education issues facing the nation.

Most recent piece in this series:

School’s Integration After The Brown vs. Board of Education Case

From New Visions, New Voices | Part of the Education Matters with Pedro Noguera series | 01:45

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In the wake of the decision reached in the Brown v. Board of Education court case, education expert Dr. Pedro Noguera tackles the question as to whether integration of this country’s school systems has really worked.

Charter School Likely Coming To Chapel Hill

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 04:12

Dave DeWitt reports that a proposed charter school in Chapel Hill has educators and families there picking sides.

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A new charter school may open in Chapel Hill next year. If approved by the State Board of Education, The Howard and Lillian Lee Scholars Academy would open in a new building and serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade – with possible expansion into middle school down the road. Its stated mission is to close the achievement gap – to help African-American students raise their performance on standardized tests. That will, in turn, improve graduation rates, and lead to greater college readiness.

The Lee Charter School proposal is causing educators and parents in Chapel Hill to pick sides, splitting a community that places a high value on public education.

As part of the American Graduate series, Dave DeWitt reports.

American Graduate: Dropping Back In

From WUNC | Part of the American Graduate series | 03:20

Dave DeWitt reports on a school in Durham that is helping at-risk kids graduate from high school.

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North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is inching up. For the first time last year, the state ranked better than the national average. But still, about 1 in 4 high school students in the state drops out. And in a knowledge-based economy, those without at least a high school diploma are highly likely to struggle the rest of their lives.

As part of WUNC’s American Graduate Project, Dave DeWitt reports on one of the innovative schools focused on improving graduation rates.

A Youth Perspective on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

From On Blast | 07:28

The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Members of the Philadelphia Student Union created the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools (CNS) to work towards improving school climates and ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

On Blast youth radio producer, Julian Roessler, explains a youth perspective on the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Julian interviews Josh Glenn, an organizer with YASP (Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project) and Decarcerate PA. Josh is also a member of CNS. Together, they explore the deeper roots of the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

More_classmates_small_small The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Members of the Philadelphia Student Union created the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools (CNS) to work towards improving school climates and ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline. On Blast youth radio producer, Julian Roessler, explains a youth perspective on the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Julian interviews Josh Glenn, an organizer with YASP (Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project) and Decarcerate PA. Josh is also a member of CNS. Together, they explore the deeper roots of the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Students Organize Around the Root Causes of School Pushout

From On Blast | 03:45

Students all over Philadelphia are being pushed out of schools and right into the school to prison pipeline. This is happening because of the lack of resources inside schools and the use of harsh discipline practices that force students into the criminal justice system.

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Students all over Philadelphia are being pushed out of schools and right into the school to prison pipeline. This is happening because of the lack of resources inside schools and the use of harsh discipline practices that force students into the criminal justice system.

But students from several organizations are fighting to end the school to prison pipeline, as members of theCampaign for Nonviolent Schools. Many of these students shared their experiences at an event calledYouth Speak-Out Against Push Out. It was a part of theDignity in Schools National Week of Action on School Pushout.

This radio piece features students' voices from this powerful event. It was produced by Shayla Johnson and Andrea Jobe.

Building Prison Beds Based On Third Graders' Test Scores

From On Blast | 02:31

It has been said that you can predict the prison population by looking at how many third graders perform poorly on standardized tests.

Scho0l_over_jail_small The school to prison pipeline starts early. It has been said that you can predict the prison population by looking at how many third graders perform poorly on standardized tests. But has anyone ever asked third graders what they think about this? Kim Reed did. This is her report.

College-Bound

From WAMU | 03:52

College-bound WAMU Youth Voices reporter Andre knows he’s lucky to be scratching his head over a choice between schools, but the stakes are high, so he also knows he needs to choose wisely.

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Yvlogo_small About 55 percent of black high school graduates go onto college, according to the most recent statistics from the Department of Education. That’s compared to about 64 percent of white students. Of those African-American students who do enroll, only about 40 percent will graduate within six years. College-bound WAMU Youth Voices reporter Andre knows he’s lucky to be scratching his head over a choice between schools. But the stakes are high, so he also knows he needs to choose wisely.

American Graduate - Class of 2025 (Series)

Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Class of 2025

Most recent piece in this series:

Class of 2025: School Changes

From Oregon Public Broadcasting | Part of the American Graduate - Class of 2025 series | 04:50

092414_2025_audio04_vdbv3n_small Oregon students have been in school for a few weeks, now. They're adjusting to new teachers, new classrooms, new expectations. Some kids have returned to buildings that are quite different from the schools they left last spring. OPB is tracking a group of kids from East Portland as they move through school. Most kids in OPB's Class of 2025 attend a school that got a major overhaul this summer. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning checks out the changes at Earl Boyles Elementary School, and what they mean for the second graders we're following.


Common Core

A Breakdown of Common Core (Series)

Produced by WBFO

This series breaks down the Common Core learning standards.

Most recent piece in this series:

The Future of Common Core

From WBFO | Part of the A Breakdown of Common Core series | 05:48

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The debate over the Common Core learning standards has recently sparked a great deal controversy with many giving input on what’s best for students. In her final installment- reporter Ashley Hirtzel (HURTZ-UHL) discusses what the future holds for Common Core.

 

“We need to get this right for students, parents, teachers and principals. We cannot walk away from the basic tenancy of this reform and anything that is done to water this down quite frankly stands the real risk of denying students in this state the opportunity that we are all fighting for them to have,”

 

That’s Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch talking about the importance of education reform on ‘The Capitol Press Room.’ Tisch says everyone must work together in order to offer students the best education possible. But, in order to move forward with Common Core many say changes must be made.

 

“For the state to give standardized tests, which many people think are developmentally inappropriate, put all sorts of pressure on kids, don’t measure creativity, critical thinking, and all the things we think are important. That’s what the problem is, the problem is the testing of our kids, not so much the evaluation,”

 

Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore says the State Education Department must make changes to their standardized tests before moving forward.   State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin of Clarence   agrees with the union leader.

 

“One of the biggest promotions we have in this report is taking a good hard look at all the testing that all students are having and making sure we’re not over testing them,”                      

 

Corwin says republican assembly members recently issued a report that comes up with solutions to issues with Common Core. The findings are titled ‘At The Educational Crossroads – A Report On Education Reform Efforts In NYS’ Corwin says their changes include restoring school funding, involving teachers in curriculum development and giving parents a choice when it comes to data sharing.

 

“Allowing parents the ability to make the decision whether or not their student’s data would be made available to a third party. There are a lot of concerns with Common Core with all of the data collection. It’s all being filtered up to the federal level that some of that student data is being used inappropriately. So, we want to make sure parents have the ability to make the decision not to do that,”

 

Amherst Central Schools Superintendent Laura Chabe suggests the state invest in professional development for educators. Chabe says it will help ease the Common Core implementation process.

 

“I think that the face that State Education Department has come out and recognized that is wonderful. So now I’m hopeful that perhaps our legislators and our governmental agencies will recognize that not only does that take time, but it’s costly,”

 

Chabe says she hopes the state introduces the Common Core science and social studies curriculum soon. She says teachers in the district would like to start preparing students for the state assessments in those subjects. 

 

“We’re a school district where our kids have been relatively successful on those exams, so they’re a little bit anxious. So, I guess when we met with the state I would encourage them to make sure those are going to be available to get those rolled out,”

 

“I think it’s fair to say about Common Core that we all agree that we need real standards for our students, a meaningful teacher evaluation system. I support the common core agenda, but the way the Common Core has been managed by the board of regents is flawed. There’s too much uncertainty, confusion and anxiety,”

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says parents, teachers and students deserve the best education reform that includes Common Core and teacher evaluations, but they also need a rational, well administered system. He plans to have a panel of education experts, business people, and lawmakers investigate the rollout of the learning standards…

 

“Let’s get recommendations for corrective action by the end of this session. Let’s pass a package of corrective actions by the end of this session and let’s end the anxiety that the parents, teachers, and students are feeling all across this state,”

 

Regent’s Chancellor Merryl Tisch says a subcommittee of the state Board of Regents will continue to come up with ways to help with the implementation of the learning standards. She believes the information the subcommittee provides will help the governor’s panel.

 

“I don’t see the Regent’s subcommittee or the governor’s panel as competing entities. I see the Regent’s subcommittee’s report as a tool which will help the governor and the legislature find a productive and purposeful path for moving forward,”

 

However, Congressman Brian Higgins feels a solution to the “rushed” rollout of Common Core is delaying implementation of the standards for two years.

 

“I think the delay that’s being sought is justified, because you can’t implement a comprehensive reform without being prepared to do it as effectively and as efficiently as possible toward achieving the objective. All you have now is parents that are frustrated, students that are frustrated,  and teachers that are frustrated as well,”

 

But, New York State Education Commissioner John King says a delay would stop progress districts are experiencing with Common Core. He says there may be disagreements about implementation and the teacher evaluation law, but the Common Core standards themselves are beneficial to students…

 

“So there are adjustments that we’re making and well continue to make those adjustments, but we’re committed to the Common Core, because we know that it’s a path to having more of our students prepared for college and career success. Frankly, all the education stakeholders across the country and New York remain committed to the Common Core,”

 

Regent’s Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett echoed King saying the state will continue to tweak the standards as necessary and advise the legislature about changes to the teacher evaluation law.

 

“As long as we can have a civil discussion and debate, and say that ‘what’s out ultimate goal here.’ I hope that we have consensus on the ultimate goal is a high school graduate in New York State that’s prepared for a career and or college,”

 

But, Republican Congressman Chris Collins says he feels the state needs to admit Common Core is a failure. Collins want the Common Core ended immediately.

 

“I think we need to just go back and take the federal government out of mandates telling teachers how to educate our kids. I frankly don’t think the state should play much of a roll, but under states rights them more so than the federal government. We should go back to teachers and school boards making the decision on how best to educate the kids in that particular school district and they’ll always do what’s best for the kids,”

 

As for what the future really holds for the Common Core learning standards everyone will have to wait and see….

 

“We need to look at what’s good and keep that and enhance that and we have to look at things that are not working in the classrooms and find ways to fix that, to remediate it and approve it.”

 

East Aurora High School history teacher and parent Todd Hathaway has been outspoken against Common Core. But Hathaway was selected to serve on the Governor’s review panel.   Hathaway says the bottom line is the state needs to “fix” Common Core.

Getting to the Common Core

From New Visions, New Voices | Part of the Education Matters with Pedro Noguera series | 02:28

Common core standards have been adopted by 44 states across the country, but questions remain about its implementation. A fourth-grade math and science teacher asks Education Matters contributor Dr. Pedro Noguera how the new standards will make our children more competitive, and whether there are universal guidelines to teaching the new curriculum.

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Common core standards have been adopted by 44 states across the country to help expose all children to a rigorous curriculum, regardless of the jurisdiction they live in. But questions remain about its implementation. With students and teachers still confused about the new standards, a fourth-grade math and science teacher asks Education Matters contributor Dr. Pedro Noguera how common core standards will make our children more competitive, and whether there are universal guidelines to teaching the new curriculum.

The Sound of Ideas: Common Core Update

From WCPN | Part of the StateImpact Ohio series | 01:01:20

Ohio is getting closer to full implementation of new minimum learning standards shared with most other states known as the Common Core. Next year, computerized Common Core tests will replace the state's standardized tests. As that draws closer, there are still many questions, some apprehension and a healthy dose of criticism. Mike McIntyre and his guests address them all.

Comcor_small Chad Aldis, vice president, Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy
Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta
Terrance O. Moore, assistant professor of history, Hillsdale College (MI)
Amy Hansen, reporter, StateImpact Ohio

Common Core & Latino Education

From New Visions, New Voices | Part of the Education Matters with Pedro Noguera series | 01:45

While addressing the government’s involvement in supporting school reform for Latino students, Dr. Pedro Noguera highlights the common core standards of policy reform and their effects. Local educators, parents, and community members shape the discussion with questions that matter.

Common_core_and_latino_education_small While addressing the government’s involvement in supporting school reform for Latino students, Dr. Pedro Noguera highlights the common core standards of policy reform and their effects.  Local educators, parents, and community members shape the discussion with questions that matter.

How the Common Core is Changing How Kids Learn in English Class

From WCPN | Part of the StateImpact Ohio series | 03:22

Ohio schools are teaching to a new set of math and English standards called the Common Core. For English classes, the Common Core means students spend less time with storybooks and more time with non-fiction texts. StateImpact Ohio’s Molly Bloom reports.

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Teacher Karen Hazlett’s fourth graders spent much of this fall learning about child labor – during English class.

Hazlett teaches in Akron’s Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts. This is her 34th year in the classroom.

And until recently, child labor probably would not have been a central topic in fourth grade English. Instead, Hazlett’s students would have read mostly fiction, and answer questions about their opinions on plot and characters.

But Hazlett says one of the biggest changes with the new Common Core English standards is a greater emphasis on non-fiction material.

“It used to be maybe 20-30 percent of our teaching was non-fiction and now it’s 50 [percent] or more,” she says. “That’s a huge difference.”

The new standards are tougher than Ohio’s old standards, Hazlett says, and they require students to analyze writing more deeply.

She has the Common Core standards for today’s lesson posted on her chalkboard and reads them aloud to me:

“Integrate information from two topics, explain the reasons using evidence, looking for details, drawing inference, drawing conclusions, main idea…”

Hazlett’s students have already read a series of articles about child labor, written at perhaps a sixth or seventh grade level – higher than what they would have encountered a few years ago.

Today, she has them work together in pairs to draw some conclusions from what they’ve read.

As she talks to her students, the phrase you hear over and over again is “cite evidence.”

“You are going to use the text and support your answer with evidence,” she tells them. “Where in the text did you get that idea what is one important new thing you have learned from reading these texts? Why is that information new? What is one thing you think differently about how that you have read these texts? Cite evidence.”

Pairs of students pore over the photocopied articles.

Teaching these young kids to work with factual evidence, to find specific facts to support their opinions, is a big change, Hazlett says.

“I’ve been teaching a long time, and I was like why didn’t we think of that before? It helps them focus on the text,” she says.

Other English classes in Akron are studying topics like CSI-style forensic anthropology, space exploration and food safety. The lessons are part of Common Core-aligned units developed by the University of Pittsburgh.

Akron teacher Anna Panning’s fifth graders are learning about space exploration.

“It’s really rigorous,” Panning says. “I sortof have them pumped up with, ‘This is going to be tough but we can do it.’ But they’re really enjoying it. And they love the topic.”

Bills to void Ohio’s adoption of the Common Core are pending in the Ohio House and Senate. But Akron English curriculum supervisor Toan Dang-Nguyen says she hasn’t heard any complaints from parents.

Akron began introducing the Common Core to Akron teachers three years ago.

Since then, the district has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on things like new materials and substitutes so teachers can attend Common Core training.

“It’s here are the standards, here’s a model unit, here’s some training to see what you can do with those standards,” Dang-Nguyen says. “We’re not just sending them off and saying good luck.”

She says the long phase-in may mean that teachers and students will have fewer surprises when the new Common Core-aligned tests start next school year.


Spanish Language

La crisis de la deuda estudiantil: Foro comunitario

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 01:00:07

This is the second hour of the forum held in Spanish at the University of Texas - Pan American in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley. This segment focuses on college costs and initiatives to make college education more affordable for students of working-class families.

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Esta es la segunda hora del foro en español realizado en la Universidad de Texas - Pan American en el corazón del Valle de Río Grande. Este segmento se enfoca en los costos de la educación universitaria y en iniciativas para hacer que la universidad sea más accesible y asequible para los estudiantes que provienen de familias trabajadoras.

Invitados: Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., Trustee del South College Board Texas, Edinburg; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Decano de la Facultad de Artes Aplicadas, Universidad del Estado de Texas, San Marcos; Frances Guzmán, Asociada para la Educación, la Asociación de Investigación de Desarrollo Intercultural, San Antonio, TX; Dr. Francisco Guajardo, director Ejecutivo, Centro Llano Grande, Edcouch, TX; Tania Chávez, Coordinadora de Proyectos Especiales, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, San Juan, TX; Sonia Falcón, vice presidenta ejecutiva de Comercial Lending, Lone Star National Bank, McAllen, TX; Rose Benavidez, Miembro de la Junta Directiva, South Texas College, Rio Grande City, TX; Dr. Daniel King, Superintendente del Distrito Escolar Independiente Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA),  Pharr, TX.

(
This is the second hour of the forum held in Spanish at the University of Texas - Pan American in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley. This segment focuses on college costs and initiatives to make college education more affordable for students of working-class families.)

El sueño universitario: Foro comunitario

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 01:00:07

In Texas, more Latinos are enrolling into college than ever. Still, too many are dropping out of high school and ending their college education, pushed out by financial pressures and other issues. One school district on the U.S.-Mexico border made an astounding change in its dropout rates and turned its students' futures around. The first hour in Spanish of a community forum on education from the Rio Grande Valley.

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Esta es la primera hora en español de un foro comunitario sobre la educación, transmitida desde la Universidad de Texas Panamericana. En Texas, los latinos se están inscribiendo más que nunca en la universidad. Aun así, son demasiados los que al dejar la preparatoria ponen fin a sus estudios obligados por las presiones financieras y otras circunstancias. Un distrito escolar en la frontera de Texas y México logró una transformación extraordinaria que podría ser ejemplo para el resto de la nación. Pharr-San Juan-Álamo es un distrito con un 99 por ciento de estudiantes latinos. Hace unos años, el porcentaje de estudiantes que abandonaban la escuela en este distrito era más de dos veces mayor que el porcentaje de abandono escolar en todo el estado de Texas. Ahora, ha cortado el número de desertores y aumentado notablemente el número de estudiantes que se gradúan ya con crédito universitario. Administradores universitarios, defensores comunitarios y estudiantes del sur de Texas se reúnen para sostener un encuentro público para discutir sobre las aspiraciones y barreras que enfrentan los latinos en su búsqueda de una educación superior. 

Invitados: Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., Trustee del South College Board Texas, Edinburg, TX; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Decano de la Facultad de Artes Aplicadas, Universidad del Estado de Texas, San Marcos, TX; Frances Guzmán, Asociada para la Educación, la Asociación de Investigación de Desarrollo Intercultural, San Antonio, TX; Dr. Francisco Guajardo, director Ejecutivo, Centro Llano Grande, Edcouch, TX; Tania Chávez, Coordinadora de Proyectos Especiales, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, San Juan, TX; Sonia Falcón, vice presidenta ejecutiva de Comercial Lendging, Lone Star National Bank, McAllen, TX; Rose Benavidez, Miembro de la Junta Directiva, South Texas College, Rio Grande City, TX; Dr. Daniel King, Superintendente del Distrito Escolar Independiente Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA), Pharr, TX.

(This is the first hour in Spanish of a bilingual community forum broadcast from the University of Texas - Pan American. In Texas, more Latinos are enrolling into college than ever. Still, too many are dropping out of high school and ending their college education, pushed out by financial pressures and other issues. A school district on the Texas border with Mexico achieved an astounding transformation that could be an example for the rest of the nation. Pharr-San Juan-Alamo is a 99 percent Latino district. A few years ago, the percentage of students in the district who dropped out was more than twice that of the entire state of Texas. Now, the district has drastically cut the number of dropouts and notably increased the number of students who are graduating from high school with college credits. College administrators, community advocates and students from South Texas convene in a town hall meeting to address the aspirations and barriers to higher education for Latinos.

Guests: Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., Trustee, South Texas College Board, Edinburg; Dr. Jaime Chahin, Dean, College of Applied Arts, Texas State University, San Marcos; Frances Guzman, Educational Associate, Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, TX; Dr. Francisco Guajardo, Executive Director, Llano Grande Center, Edcouch, TX; Tania Chavez, Special Projects Coordinator, La Union del Pueblo Entero, San Juan, TX; Sonia Falcon, Senior Vice-President Commercial Lendging, Lone Star National Bank, McAllen, TX; Rose Benavidez, Member, South Texas College Board, Rio Grande City, TX; Dr. Daniel King, Superintendent Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA), Pharr, TX.) 

Padres se involucran para vigilar Common Core

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 06:07

In Oakland, California, a group of Spanish-speaking parents is learning more about the Common Core, to keep watch to make sure that it is being applied with special attention to the needs of their children. Zaidee Stavely has more details.

En_los_talleres_los_padres_conocen_los_nuevos_estandares_y_como_involucrarse_en_la_educacion_de_sus_hijos Los nuevos estándares comunes ofrecen conceptos que tienen el potencial de mejorar la educación de los niños que están aprendiendo inglés como segundo idioma. Pero como escuchamos la semana pasada, los maestros están tan ocupados simplemente conociendo los nuevos estándares en sí, que no todos están capacitados sobre cómo enseñar a los aprendices de inglés. Y hay preocupación en torno a los exámenes, que podrían acabar perjudicando a estos niños. En Oakland, California, un grupo de padres de habla hispana están aprendiendo más sobre los estándares comunes, para vigilar que se aplique con especial atención a las necesidades de sus hijos. Zaidee Stavely tiene más detalles.

(The new Common Core standards offer concepts that have the potential of improving education for children who are learning English as a second language. But as we heard last week, teachers are so busy simply figuring out the new standards overall that they are not all being trained on how to teach English language learners. In addition, there is concern that the exams could end up hurting these children. In Oakland, California, a group of Spanish-speaking parents is learning more about the Common Core, to keep watch to make sure that it is being applied with special attention to the needs of their children. Zaidee Stavely has more details.) 

Common Core: Promesas y preocupaciones

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 08:35

The Common Core Standards could bring change for English learners, but many educators have doubts about the implementation. Will this new educational reform be able to offer children who are still learning English the tools they need to learn? Zaidee Stavely explores what Common Core looks like on the ground for English learners in Oakland.

Img_8976_small Common Core: ¿ayudará o perjudicará a los niños que hablan poco inglés? - La mitad de los niños que entran al kindergarten en California sin saber inglés acaban tratados como aprendices de inglés por muy largo tiempo. Todavía en la secundaria y la preparatoria, dichos estudiantes aún no han aprendido bien a escribir y leer el nuevo idioma y tampoco han desarrollado su lengua materna. Una iniciativa adoptada por 40 estados y conocida como Estándares Comunes de aprendizaje o Common Core, pudiera traer remedios para estos niños. Pero muchos educadores tienen dudas sobre su implementación. ¿Será que esta nueva reforma educativa podrá ofrecer a los niños que aún aprenden inglés las herramientas que necesitan para poder aprender mejor? ¿O dejará a estos alumnos aún más retrasados, como lo han hecho otras reformas en el pasado? Zaidee Stavely reporta desde salones de clase en Oakland, California. 

(Common Core: Will it Help or Hurt English Learners?
  - Half of the children who enter kindergarten in California without knowing English end up being treated as English learners for a very long time. Even in junior high and high school, these students have still not learned how to read and write the new language, and neither have they developed their mother tongue. An initiative adopted by 40 states and known as the Common Core Standards, could bring change for these kids. But many educators have doubts about the implementation. Will this new educational reform be able to offer children who are still learning English the tools they need to learn? Or will it leave these students even farther behind their peers, as other reforms have done in the past? Zaidee Stavely reports from classrooms in Oakland, California.)

Denuncian castigos severos a niños de color en Alabama

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 07:42

In southern Alabama, a group of parents has accused educators in Baldwin County of applying severe punishment selectively against Latino and African-American children. Javier Aparisi traveled to the town of Foley, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where many of the complaints originated, and has this story.

Camion-2_small Denuncian castigos severos a niños latinos y afro americanos en Alabama - La administración del Presidente Obama ha llamado a reformar el sistema de disciplina escolar, argumentando que muchas veces se disciplina de manera más severa a los niños afroamericanos y latinos, que puede tener un impacto en su desempeño. En el sur de Alabama, un grupo de padres acusa a los educadores del condado de Baldwin de aplicar castigos severos selectivamente contra niños latinos y afroamericanos. Javier Aparisi viajó al poblado de Foley, en la costa del Golfo de México, donde muchas de las quejas originaron, y entrega este reportaje.

(Severe Punishment of Latino and African American Children Reported in Alabama - The Obama Administration has called to reform school discipline systems, arguing that many times African-American and Latino children are disciplined mmore harshly, which can have an impact on their achievement. In southern Alabama, a group of parents has accused educators in Baldwin County of applying severe punishment selectively against Latino and African-American children. Javier Aparisi traveled to the town of Foley, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where many of the complaints originated, and has this story.)

Estándares Comunes: ¿Listos?

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 54:18

This year 45 states and the District of Columbia are starting to use the new Common Core State Standards for English language and math. Some Latino leaders are concerned about the impact on ELL and Latino students, who are traditionally underperforming in math and English.

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Este año 45 estados y el Distrito de Columbia comienzan a utilizar los nuevos Estándares Comunes para el idioma Inglés y las matemáticas. La iniciativa educativa fue diseñada para modernizar la manera en que las escuelas enseñan y evalúan a los estudiantes, poniendo menos énfasis en la memorización y más en el pensamiento crítico, el razonamiento y la resolución de problemas. Se trata de preparar a los estudiantes para la vida después de la preparatoria. Texas y otros cuatro estados se han manifestado en contra de las normas. Algunos las ponen en duda, argumentando que las normas nunca fueron sometidas a pruebas de campo y que se espera que los estudiantes y profesores hagan más y lo hagan más rápida. Líderes latinos están preocupados por el impacto que pueda causar en los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés y los latinos, que son tradicionalmente los de bajo rendimiento en matemáticas e Inglés. En este programa, líderes del campo de la educación ofrecen diferentes puntos de vista.

Invitados: Gabriela Uro, Directora, Política e Investigación de ELL, Consejo de Escuelas de la Gran Ciudad, Washington, DC, www.cgcs.org; Leo Gómez, Presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Educación Bilingüe, Profesor, Educación Bilingüe y Bicultural, University of Texas Panamerican, Edinburg, TX, www.nabe.org.

(This year 45 states and the District of Columbia are starting to use the new Common Core State Standards for English language and math. The education initiative was designed to revamp the way schools teach and assess students, placing less emphasis on memorization and more on critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving. It seeks to prepare students for life after high school. Texas and four other states have decided against the standards. Some question that the standards were never field-tested, and students and teachers are being expected to do more and do it more quickly. Latino leaders are concerned about the impact on ELL and Latino students, who are traditionally underperforming in math and English. In this program, education leaders offer different views.)

Estandares comunes en Florida

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 05:49

Though many salute the Common Core Standards as a new method of teaching that will help students to reason better, in Florida, some experts are concerned about how Latino children who are just beginning to learn English will fare.

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Reforma de Common Core y los niños que aún aprenden inglés La puesta en marcha en 45 estados y la capital de la nación de nuevas metas educativas conocidas como Common Core Standards o estándares comunes está generando fuertes discusiones. Aunque muchos lo saludan como un nuevo método de enseñanza que ayudará a los alumnos a razonar mejor, en Florida, a algunos expertos les preocupa la suerte de los niños latinos que recién empiezan a aprender el inglés, bajo estos nuevos estándares. Javier Aparisi tiene más detalles desde Miami. 

(
English Learners and the Common Core Standards - The new educational goals known as Common Core Standards, being implemented in 45 states and the nation's capital are sparking some strong discussions. Though many salute the standards as a new method of teaching that will help students to reason better, in Florida, some experts are concerned about how Latino children who are just beginning to learn English will fare. Javier Aparisi has more details from Miami.)

Niños latinos en riesgo de repetir el 3er grado

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 05:33

More than thirteen states require children who do not demonstrate a good grasp of reading to repeat third grade. This is the first year that students in Arizona face that challenge, which could affect Latino and African-American students more. Valeria Fernández reports on a school district in Phoenix, where teachers are trying to improve reading skills among their students, who are mostly Latino.

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Niños latinos de Arizona en riesgo de repetir el tercer grado - El tercer grado de la primaria es un punto crucial en la formación de los niños porque es cuando los educados pasan de la etapa de aprender a leer, a la etapa de leer para aprender. Eso dicen los pedagogos. Si esa habilidad no es sólida al finalizar ese año escolar, los niños pueden estar en riesgo de quedar atrasados permanentemente. Más de trece estados exigen que los niños que no demuestren buen desempeño en la lectura tendrán que repetir el tercer grado. Este es el primer año en que los alumnos de Arizona enfrentarán este desafío, que afecta más en particular a estudiantes latinos y afro americanos. Valeria Fernández reporta sobre un distrito escolar en Phoenix, donde los maestros buscan elevar el nivel de lectura entre sus alumnos, mayoritariamente latinos.

(Latino children in Arizona at risk of repeating 3rd grade - Third grade is a crucial point in the education of children because it is when they go from learning how to read to reading to learn, according to educational experts. If that ability is not solid after third grade, those children can be at risk of remaining behind permanently. More than thirteen states require children who do not demonstrate a good grasp of reading to repeat third grade. This is the first year that students in Arizona face that challenge, which could affect Latino and African-American students more. Valeria Fernández reports on a school district in Phoenix, where teachers are trying to improve reading skills among their students, who are mostly Latino.) 

Disparidad entre escuelas de doble inmersión en Arizona

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 06:10

In Arizona, there is some support for dual immersion schools, but mostly for those that serve a majority Anglo population. The schools with more Latino students have many more obstacles to overcome, such as lack of economic resources and learning materials. Valeria Fernández has this story of two very different schools with the same overall objective.

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Escuelas de doble inmersión en Arizona tienen doble cara - El sistema educativo de la doble inmersión fue creado con la idea de que los niños hispanohablantes puedan aprender inglés y a la vez preservar su español. Por su parte, en los cursos de doble inmersión, los niños de habla inglesa aprenden el español, y así se trata de crear toda una generación de niños bilingues. En Arizona hay bastante apoyo para las escuelas que siguen la doble inmersion, pero sobre todo para aquellas que sirven a estudiantes mayoritariamente anglosajones. En cambio, a las escuelas donde atienden a más niños latinos, les sobran obstáculos como la falta de recursos económicos y materiales de enseñanza. Valeria Fernández nos entrega la historia de dos escuelas muy distintas con el mismo objetivo.
 
(Two Faces to Dual Immersion Schools in Arizona - The educational system of dual immersion was created with the idea of allowing Spanish-speaking children to learn English, while at the same time keeping their Spanish. At the same time, English-speaking children in dual immersion programs learn Spanish, and the idea is to create a whole generation of bilingual children. In Arizona, there is some support for dual immersion schools, but mostly for those that serve a majority Anglo population. The schools with more Latino students have many more obstacles to overcome, such as lack of economic resources and learning materials.  Valeria Fernández has this story of two very different schools with the same overall objective.)

Nueva York expande programas de preescolar

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 03:55

New York City will offer more than 50 new preschool spaces to four-year-olds beginning in September. Our correspondent in New York, Marco Vinicio González, spoke with some mothers of Latino preschoolers in the city and has this story.

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Nueva York expande programas de preescolar - La educación temprana es fundamental para preparar a los niños antes de que entren a la primaria, pero muchas veces los niños de las familias más pobres no tienen acceso a ella. El presidente Obama ha propuesto expandir los programas de preescolar gratuitos a todos los niños del pais. Algunos estados se han adelantado y ya ofrecen este tipo de programas. La ciudad de Nueva York se acaba de sumar a este resurgimiento y ofrecerá más de 50 mil nuevos espacios gratuitos para los niños de cuatro años en el preescolar a partir de septiembre. Nuestro corresponsal en Nueva York, Marco Vinicio González, platicó con madres con hijos en preescolar en esta ciudad y nos entrega este reportaje.
(New York Expands Preschool to all Four-Year-Olds - Early childhood education is a fundamental part of preparing children before they enter elementary school, but many times the children of the poorest families do not have access to this type of education. President Obama has proposed to expand free preschool programs to all children. Some states have gone ahead and offered this type of program to all. New York City has jumped on the bandwagon and will offer more than 50 new preschool spaces to four-year-olds beginning in September. Our correspondent in New York, Marco Vinicio González, spoke with some mothers of preschoolers in the city and has this story.)

Texas podría cerrar una escuela que gradúa a los que abandonaron estudios

From Radio Bilingue | Part of the Diploma en Mano series | 07:01

According to national estimates, only 7 out of 10 Latinos and African Americans graduate high school. A charter school in Texas is dedicated solely to teaching students who previously dropped out of school and helps them graduate. But the state is about to close the school because it says it doesn't meet academic and financial standards set for all schools.

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Texas podría cerrar una escuela que enseña a los que abandonaron los estudios - La crisis de deserción escolar ha sido señalada como una prioridad por el gobierno federal. Se estima que sólo 7 de cada 10 latinos y afro americanos se gradúan de la preparatoria. Una escuela autónoma en Texas se dedica a enseñar a los estudiantes que habían abandonado los estudios y los ayuda a graduarse. Pero el estado está a punto de cerrar esta escuela, porque dice que no cumple con las metas académicas y financieras fijadas para todas las escuelas. ¿Deben las escuelas que sirven a los estudiantes en riesgo de abandonar los estudios, tener que cumplir con los mismos estándares que todas las demás? Joy  Díaz reporta desde Austin, TX.

(Texas to close a school that graduates dropouts - The dropout crisis has been marked a priority by the federal government. According to national estimates, only 7 out of 10 Latinos and African Americans graduate high school. A charter school in Texas is dedicated solely to teaching students who previously dropped out of school and helps them graduate. But the state is about to close the school because it says it doesn't meet academic and financial standards set for all schools. Should schools that serve students at risk of dropping out be held it the same standards as all other schools?  Joy Díaz reports from Austin, Texas.)