Theater teacher Quinn Strassel has seen first hand the impact that Betsy DeVos has had on Michigan’s public schools. And so he decided to fight back, by writing a musical. Strassel grew up and attended schools in Ypsilanti, MI, where he was schooled in the theatrical arts by teacher Diane Hill. Ypsilanti’s acclaimed theater program no longer exists—under Michigan’s “schools of choice” policy, the subject of episode #68, school districts compete against each other for students and the funding that comes with them, and working class districts like Ypsilanti have not fared well. But enough with the bleak back story! Diane Hill, now an award-winning actress, plays the part of Betsy DeVos in Quinn’s musical. Jennifer was lucky enough to get to be in the audience when Quinn staged a reading. In the latest episode of Have You Heard, you get to listen in on Betsy DeVos!: the Musical! and hear Quinn talk about his effort to make a serious point by getting us all laughing, Note: Quinn is currently raising funds to stage a professional, fully realized production next summer leading into the 2020 election. If you want to support his efforts, click here.
Have You Heard heads to Michigan to learn about a lesser-known part of the state’s free market education experiment: inter-district school choice. More than 100,000 Michigan students attend school in a district other than where they live. The outflow of students has pushed urban districts to the brink and spawned a competition for enrollment among rural and suburban districts.
From Bernie Sanders on charter schools and segregation to Cory Booker stating, once again, that he is a believer in public education, to higher pay for teachers and free-er college for all (or some), the Democratic presidential candidates can’t stop talking about education. In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jennifer and Jack go beyond the headlines to explore why public education may just be the hottest-button issue of this endless campaign season. Full transcript of the episode is here.
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In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack and Jennifer dig into five—make that six—education news stories that deserved more attention in 2018. From Betsy DeVos’ surprising (to some) longevity to the GOP’s realignment as the *anti-college* party, these are some of the stories that we’ll be hearing more about in 2019. Complete transcript of the episode available here. And if you’re a fan of the high-quality content that Have You Heard serves up, consider becoming a supporter on Patreon.
While Have You Heard co-host Jack Schneider is off doing whatever academics do during months without an ‘r,’ Jennifer has been tearing through a blockbuster new book on the meteoric rise and implosion of Silicon Valley blood-testing startup Theranos. So what does the sordid saga of a blood testing company have to do with education? Writer John Warner steps into the Have You Heard studio to discuss Bad Bloodand what it tells us about “bad ed tech” and “bad ed reform.”