Host Ira talks with a teacher in South Carolina who is just trying to figure out what the first day of school will look like.
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Two teachers find themselves thrown into a heated and ugly fight with parents right before school opens back up. Producer Miki Meek has this story from Utah.
Aviva DeKornfeld talks with a high schooler about how he’s prepped for remote learning with a bunch of kids he doesn’t know. (4 minutes)
A school that has prepared for every Covid scenario faces a problem they never saw coming. Stephanie Wang tells the story of one Indiana school's first day in person.
A week after starting classes, a Covid outbreak forces a university to send students back home. Producer Robyn Semien takes a tour of the emptying campus.
In just one year, everything in one ordinary public middle school changed. It went from an incoming class of thirty sixth graders—most of them Black, Latino, and Middle Eastern—to a class of 103 sixth graders.
There’s a lawsuit going on between Harvard and some Asian American students who say the admissions process discriminates against them.
Reporter Steve Kolowich goes to the University of Nebraska where one new recruit to Turning Point goes out on campus to sign people up for her club. And that one act immediately devolves into a political battle of epic proportions.
The brawl on the mall of the University of Nebraska turns into a fiasco at the state capitol, as legislators try to step in and dictate what should happen at the university. (16 1/2 minutes)
In 2012, the fever broke, and the Albertville city council stopped targeting Latino residents. The mayor says he and the council are taking a cue from the public schools.
Back in the late 1960s, a wealthy tobacco heiress saw that integration was happening all around the country—except at prep schools in the South. So she set out to find the best black students in neighborhood public schools—in hopes of teaching the white prep-school students to be less bigoted. Mosi Secret tells the story of how the first two black students to integrate Virginia Episcopal Academy succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. So is This American Life producer Susan Burton.
Ira speaks with New York Times Magazine Reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones about her years reporting on education and the various kinds of school reforms administrators have tried to close the achievementgap that never seem to work. Nikole says there's one reform that people have pretty much given upon, despite a lot of evidence that it works – school integration.
Chana Joffe-Walt tells what happened when a group of public school students in the Bronx went to visit an elite private school three miles away.
The kids who traveled three miles up the road are in their mid-20s now. We hear how what they saw affected them for years, including at college.
When it comes to disciplining young people, teachers are winging it. We ask middle school teachers all over the country to walk us through how they get a kid to take his hat off.
We start out exploration of discipline and schools at the very beginning … in preschool. Tunette Powell is a writer in Omaha and mother to JJ and Joah.
About 20 years ago, a group of educators launched one of the biggest recent experiments in American education when they started creating charter schools designed for poor, minority kids. The idea was to create classrooms that are rigorous and strict.
We spend a semester in a public school in New York City called Lyons Community School. Lyons is trying to avoid suspensions, detentions and basically all other forms of traditional punishment.
Before the war in the East Ramapo, New York school district, there was a truce. Local school officials made a deal with their Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbors: we'll leave you alone to teach your children in private yeshivas as you see fit as long as you allow our public school budget to pass.
Chana Joffe-Walt tells the story of a teenager named Michael. Like a lot of teenagers Michael decides to follow his dreams — and that to follow his dreams, he’s going to need to make a total change.
Ira talks to 15 year old Jada who, when she was in third grade, moved from Akron Public Schools in Ohio, to the nearby Copley-Fairlawn schools in the suburbs. After two years, Jada was kicked out by administrators who discovered that her mother was using Jada's grandfather's address in Copley, instead of her own in Akron.
Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer talks about the most wrongheaded things applicants try. And Michael Lewis has the incredible story of how a stolen library book got one man into his dream school.
Writer Michael Lewis tells the story of a man named Emir Kamenica, whose path to college started with fleeing the war in Bosnia and becoming a refugee in the United States. Then he had a stroke of luck: a student teacher read an essay he’d plagiarized from a book he’d stolen from a library back in Bosnia, and was so impressed that she got him out of a bad high school and into a much better one.