Help Send Have You Heard on the Road in 2020

Notice that the media keeps missing important education stories – or, worse, getting them wrong? Have You Heard wants to do something about that. We have an ambitious list of destinations we want to travel to in the months ahead. With your support we can hit the road and help tell stories like these:

  • Will Betsy DeVos cost Donald Trump Michigan and the election? We’re going to Michigan to explore how DeVos’ deep unpopularity and her extreme agenda could tip the balance in a state that Trump won by just 10,000 votes in 2016.
  • According to the New York Times African-American voters feel betrayed by the Democrats’ pivot away from charter schools. But recent gubernatorial campaigns by Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida point to a more complicated story. We’re headed south to learn more.
  • Voters in rural Wisconsin went big for Trump in 2016. But there is one policy area where they are wildly at odds with the GOP: education. As the GOP embraces school funding cuts and privatization, rural communities have been voting to raise their own taxes in order to keep their local public schools alive.
  • Your city/state here! Got an idea for an episode that’s relevant to our education 2020 theme? Email us or Tweet your ideas to @HaveYouHeardPod.

Here are some of the ways you can support us:

1. Become a patron of Have You Heard on Patreon. Or if you’re already a Patreon supporter, consider increasing your monthly donation. (Note: Patreon subscribers get access to extras like our extended play segment *In the Weeds* and episode-specific reading lists.)

2. Make a one-time donation via PayPal.

3. Make a tax deductible donation. Make your check payable to:

Public Education Communications Project
23 Woodward Ave.
Gloucester, MA 01930.

Thanks for your support!

Jennifer and Jack

Milton Friedman’s Day in Court

The raging debate about whether public money should fund private religious education is a very old one. What’s new is the increasingly complex education landscape and the mainstreaming of once radical free market ideas. Education historian Ethan Hutt helps us make sense of the recent Supreme Court case, Montana vs. Espinoza and what’s next for the school choice wars. Full transcript available here.

The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going and enables us to do on-the-ground reporting. Please consider making a donation.

History Wars: How Politics Shape Textbooks

What are students learning about American history in these hyper-polarized times? That’s what New York Times reporter Dana Goldstein wanted to know. And so she set off on an epic reading adventure: 43 middle and high school American history textbooks, 4,800 in all. Have You Heard talks to Dana about how our divided nation shows up on the pages of these books on subjects such as immigration, the economy and suburbanization. Also, Jack revisits the great debate in the 1990’s over history standards. Full transcript of the episode is available here.

And in this episode’s segment of In the Weeds, available to our Patreon subscribers, Jack and Jennifer discuss the emergence of the National Parents Union, a new group with an old cause and some powerful friends. Listen in by becoming a patron!

The Rural Schools Conundrum

Have You Heard heads to rural Wisconsin to investigate a puzzle. Communities in the “reddest” parts of the state keep voting to hike their own taxes to pay for schools, even as they elect and re-elect politicians who enact cuts to school funding. What gives? The answers are complicated and surprising. Full transcript available here. And Have You Heard relies on listener contributions to hit the road for episodes like this one. 

The PISA Problem

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! That was the reaction when the PISA results were announced – the global ranking of 15-year-olds. But scholar Oren Pizmony-Levy tells Have You Heard that he thinks it’s time to junk the test, and that the opt-out movement in the US may point the way forward. And Have You Heard announces big plans for 2020. Full transcript of the episode here.

Flip the Board: Denver and the Politics of School Reform

For more than a decade, Denver has been a model for a brand of school reform centered on closing low-performing schools, opening charter schools and rewarding teachers for boosting student test scores. But a diverse coalition of opponents says it’s time to put the brakes on that approach and showed its strength at the polls in November by “flipping” the Denver School Board. Complete transcript available here.

Note: Education will play a major role in key 2020 election contests and yet the media keeps missing the story, or worse, getting it wrong. Have You Heard has a plan for that. We have an ambitious 2020 travel agenda, but to hit the road we need your help.