What does it really mean to get a good education? What is educational success? The third season of WHYY’s Schooled podcast explores these questions and more through the stories of very different students fighting to escape poverty in Philadelphia.
Bonus: The Class of 2020, ‘on hold’ and ‘on fire’
The high school class of 2020 is bound for the history books.
They were born in the wake of 9-11. Entered kindergarten during the Great Recession. Had their senior years interrupted by a global pandemic. And have now graduated into an uncertain future amid mass COVID-19 deaths, record unemployment and civic upheaval in the streets.
In this episode we’re telling the stories of students coming of age in a moment where the world feels both ‘on hold’ and ‘on fire.’
S.03 Ep. 04 Summer in the City
A portrait of summer at a recreation center in a Philadelphia neighborhood where the threat of violent crime is never far off. Starting on the last day of school, we meet students — many living in nearby public housing — who embrace the structure set by staffers at the Hank Gathers Rec Center. Schools in the neighborhood often struggle to keep students orderly and engaged. Why is the rec center so different? What educational role does it play in the lives of students? This slice-of-life story explores the impact Gathers has on students living amid daily reminders of violence and trauma.
S. 03 Ep. 03: Don’t eat the marshmallow
KIPP Philadelphia started a middle school in 2003 that promised to change students’ lives. It was one of the city’s first “no excuses” charter schools, where administrators implemented a militaristic discipline system and promoted a laser focus on college for kids from low-income neighborhoods. They also regularly counseled students who didn’t embrace their methods to leave the school. Now, 15 years later, we track down dozens of former students to ask: in the long run, did the school live up to its promise? How were lives affected? And how has the school’s original vision of success evolved?
S.03 Ep. 02 Last Chance High — part two
We continue following Joshua Martinez and his classmates as they fight to graduate. But a teacher at El Centro raises serious questions about the rigor of the school that leads to bigger questions: For students who are far behind grade level, how much should we really expect? Where’s the line for who deserves a diploma?
S. 03 Ep. 01: Last Chance High
Joshua Martinez grew up in poverty in a neighborhood where selling drugs is a way of life. At 16, he quit school, but soon feared he had put himself on a dead-end path. Seeking a better life, he enrolled in an alternative school specifically for high school dropouts. There, a debate arises among faculty at the school: For students who are far behind grade level, how much should we really expect? What’s more important, building confidence and relationships, or academic mastery? Where’s the line for who deserves a diploma? We explore these questions through intimate portraits of students, like Joshua, as they fight to graduate.
Schooled: Season Three Trailer
What does it really mean to get a good education? What is educational success? The third season of WHYY’s Schooled podcast explores these questions and more.
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Deep Dive into Philly Education
Deeply-reported, funny, heart-breaking, and so so good. This is a side of Philly I knew nothing about, and I’m better to learn because of it.
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