Which is why I’m launching a podcast series!
I’ve spent the last two years visiting cities like Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia that are on the front lines of the often bitter battle over the future of public schools in the US. And what I’ve heard along the way is far more interesting, encouraging and honest than the talking points and stale exchanges that dominate the discussions about our schools. That’s why I’m launching a podcast series so that you can listen in and hear what I’ve been hearing.
No talking points allowed
I approach my work as a journalist and blogger with one very important rule: I’ll talk to anyone who will talk to me. I’m keenly attuned to the voices that are too often shut out of the conversation, and I’m not afraid to march right into the places where decisions are being made—whether I’m wanted or not. Now I aim to take that same spirit to the airwaves. My talented sidekick Aaron French (that’s him in the picture!)—the creator and former producer of Teach For America’s popular Education on Tap podcast—and I aim to bring you something new: sharp, insightful, accessible and often humorous conversations about the hottest-button topics in education. You’ll hear voices and points of view you haven’t heard before. What you won’t hear are talking points. We won’t allow them!
Here’s a taste of what we’re up to:
- No one understands the education experiment unfolding in New Orleans better than the students who are living through it. We’ll introduce you to some of them, as we talk to immigrant students who recently arrived in the city from Central America as unaccompanied minors.
- When a school in one of Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhoods sought to merge with a school serving poor, minority students, it was hailed as a breakthrough for a deeply segregated city with a gaping wealth divide. We’ll talk to parents and teachers at both schools and ask *is integration possible in such an unequal city?*
- *No Nonsense Nurturing,* a scripted, even robotic style of teaching is now the norm in hundreds of urban schools attended by low-income students and students who are still learning English. We’ll visit a classroom to hear for ourselves what No Nonsense Nurturing sounds like, and why it’s controversial.
- The education reform movement has rallied young progressive activists around a school choice, anti-union agenda more typically associated with conservatives. We’ll talk to some prominent young activists and ask them if, in these times of tea parties and Trump, they’re having morning-after regrets about their strange bedfellows.
- Plus interviews and conversations, humor and irreverence, and a fresh take on the hottest-button issues in the debate over public education. Absolutely no talking points allowed.
At this point I’d like to open things up for questions. Anyone? Anyone?
Q: I couldn’t help but notice that you’re now palling around with a TFAer. Isn’t he a little young for you?
A: Not just that but Aaron and I are both *technically* married…To other people. Aw—he’s blushing!
Q: Does the show have a name?
A: Good question—to which the answer is *no.* If you have an idea, ANY IDEA, for what we should call the show, or an idea for an episode, send it along.
Q: So who’s paying for all of this? And more importantly, are you going to be hitting me up for money?
A: Suffice it to say that our efforts to court a diverse assortment of billionaire backers fell, well, just a bit short. Which means that we will indeed be asking for your support. If you can’t wait a moment longer, feel free to use the handy PayPal button below.
Q: You guys look so good as cartoons. That’s not a question, but I felt like it was necessary to say.
A: What do you mean, *cartoons*?