The Podcast

Join Jack Schneider and me as we talk about the age-old quest to finally, FINALLY, fix the nation’s public schools, one policy at a time. You can listen to episodes of Have You Heard on Soundcloud, or subscribe on iTunes. If you have ideas for topics you’d like to see us tackle, drop me a line at

Our latest episode, You’re Fired!, takes on the idea that schools can be fixed by firing teachers. We hear from three Boston teachers whose school are about to be turned upside down, and talk to scholar Tina Trujillo about how the turn-and-churn model of school reform reflects a larger erosion of the turn-and-churn model of school reform reflects a larger erosion of the idea that public education is public good.

And don’t miss the first episode of season 2: Vouchers: a Love Story in which we examine the long conservative love affairs with school vouchers, and why they’ve been such a dud with the public. We invite voucher superfan Travis Pillow onto the show to mix it up and things get, well, heated.

In the meantime, here are some of my very favorite episodes from season 1.0

  • These Tests Will Go”: The Opt-Out Movement in Urban Philadelphia Have You Heard heads to Philadelphia to talk to African American parents who are opting their kids out of standardized tests. We listen in as they share their perspectives about a movement that’s been characterized as wealthy, white and suburban. 
  • Kindergarten Suspensions: It’s a *Thing* Have You Heard heads to Boston for a look at the controversial trend of kindergarten suspension. We go behind the data to bring you the story of a mother and a five-year-old boy who, in his first four months as a kindergartner, was suspended 16 times. Hard to imagine? His mother thinks so too as she struggles to understand how her bright, creative little boy could end up in so much trouble so quickly.
  • If You Have a Voice, Use It Have You Heard heads to Lawrence, MA to meet up with some amazing student activists who are determined to write a different future for themselves, their city and their schools.
  • Why Busing Failed Have You Heard talks to historian Matt Delmont about the battles over busing, and how the media fixation on white anger all but erased the larger—and longer—story: the civil rights demands of African American students.
  • Peanut Butter and Persistence Have You Heard drops by a San Francisco high school where ninth grade social studies students are diving deep into a topic that concerns them directly: school lunch. The students are part of a new ethnic studies curriculum that puts them at the very center of what happens in the classroom. And it’s producing big results: the kind that have researchers salivating more than a kid excited for chicken nugget day in the cafeteria.
  • Georgia Has Something on its Mind When Georgia voters go to the polls, they’ll be deciding whether to create a statewide school district to take over troubled schools. But while the question is being sold as a way to help kids, the devil is in the details. Have You Heard heads to Atlanta to hear from voters and parents about why Amendment 1 has become the hot topic in Georgia politics.