The weekly ARW podcast covers education issues, focusing on how K-12 and higher education are changing in the 21st century.

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Michael Walker with students in Minneapolis (photo: @MPS_BlackMales Twitter account)

Boosting Black Male Student Achievement

The Minneapolis Public School District created an Office of Black Male Student Achievement earlier this year. One goal of the office is to help young African American men graduate from high school in greater numbers.
President Barack Obama talks with students at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo: whitehouse.gov

Free Community College for All

President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
PicMonkey Collage

What’s in a number?

Our guest this week has a message for high school seniors and their parents who are poring over the latest college rankings lists: Put ‘em down.
Melinda Gates visits a school supported by the Gates Foundation. (Photo: Gates Foundation via Flickr)

Following the Money in Education Philanthropy

Philanthropic foundations have been giving money to public education for years. But our guest this week argues that philanthropies are increasingly pushing specific educational agendas.
Cambodian American students rally in Washington DC for the All Students Count Act of 2014. Photo: Phuong Do.

Who’s missing from the achievement gap debate?

The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.
College Finance. Photo: Josh McKible via Flickr.

Rising prices on the poorest

In January 2014 nearly a hundred college presidents gathered at the White House for a summit on the rising cost of college. But data show that those same institutions have been raising their prices fastest for the poorest students than for wealthier ones. This week on the podcast, we talk to a reporter who has been following the rising college cost burden on poor families.
Abigail Seldin, founder of College Abacus. Photo:  ECMC.

How Much Will College Cost My Family?

In 2011 the federal government required colleges and universities to publish “net price calculators” on their web sites. These tools are supposed to help families figure out which colleges they can afford. The calculators take into account family income, number of kids in college, state of residency, and other factors. But they’re often hard to use and time-consuming. Our guest this week has made this process simpler and more accessible.
Robots do a lot of the work in advanced manufacturing plants like this Toyota factory in Kentucky. But there are still thousands of people directly involved in the production process. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Bridging the “Middle Skills” Gap

There’s a paradox in today’s job market: even though there are millions of people looking for work, employers say they can’t find enough qualified workers. That’s due to an abundance of what economists call “middle skills” jobs – jobs that require specialized training beyond high school, but not a four-year college degree.
Kenan Memorial Stadium at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 
Photo: William Yeung via Flickr

Academic Fraud and College Athletics

Last month the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released a report that showed evidence of nearly two decades of academic fraud perpetuated by the school’s Afro-American Studies Department. An investigation found certain professors and administrators had an unwritten policy of “propping up” student athletes. This week on the podcast, we look at academic fraud at colleges with high-stakes sports programs.
Photo: Tim Ellis via Flickr.

The Utility of a PhD

Humanities professors at colleges and universities are re-thinking what it means to offer a PhD. The old model is proving unsustainable. It takes an average nine years to get a doctorate, but less than 60 percent of PhDs are finding tenure-track teaching jobs. This week, we look at a new report recommending academics view doctoral programs in a new light.