Education

Airs Sunday, October 12 at 6 p.m. In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts and graduating high school without the necessary skills for college and the workforce. But is this the reform we’ve been looking for? Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start?

Airs Sunday, September 21 at 6 p.m.  Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today that kind of tracking smacks of classism. "College for all" is the new mantra. But not everyone wants to go to college, and nearly half of jobs don't require a bachelor’s degree. Many experts say it's time to bring career and technical education back.

Airs Sunday, September 7 at 6 p.m.  There's plenty of controversy surrounding the Common Core, a new set of education standards adopted by most states. Getting less attention is what the standards actually say, and the fact that many teachers like them. This American RadioWorks documentary takes listeners into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Many teachers say those changes are desperately needed, but some are worried about new Common Core tests and whether they will help improve schools or get in the way of better education.

Airs Sunday, August 31 at 6 p.m. Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better. In this program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world.

Commentator Brian O'Nuanain shares his views on separation of church and state in the U.S. and how this differs from his native Ireland.

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