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.
Prodigal son: The making of a Black male teacher
School leaders across the U.S. are looking for the next Shakoor Henderson: a promising Black, male educator in a field that sorely lacks diversity.
So why is he on the verge of being pushed out of public education after a long, winding fight to get in?
The answer lies in his past — and the barriers faced by many Black men in America.
Live: Lessons of the COVID school year
COVID-19 upended the American education system and the impacts of the pandemic on schools will likely take decades to fully understand.
There are big questions about learning loss. Attendance rates are down. Failure rates are up. And many students missed out on a year of normal social development.
The isolation of virtual school has also been set against a backdrop of family members getting sick, dying, or losing jobs due to covid — all while there has been a spike in deadly gun violence in cities across the country.
In this episode, we unpacking how the COVID year of schooling has affected students, parents and educators. Our conversation was recorded during a live event with a panel of first-hand experts who spoke intimately about how their lives were affected.
Dozens of school-aged children in Philadelphia were murdered since January 2020 — a spike that tracks with a surge in homicides in cities across the country.
For loved ones, the pain of these losses has been exacerbated by the isolation of the pandemic. And without in-person school, classmates and teachers have tried to navigate their grief from a distance.
This is the story of our other public health crisis, gun violence, told through the lives of three Philadelphia teenagers whose time was cut short.
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?
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.
Thoughtful and emotionally powerful
This is a sensitive and smart exploration of a world and people not usually covered by the media. I wish people in power would listen to this.
A must listen for anyone.
Emotional and empowering. Everyone from all walks of life should listen!