What I want to know with Kevin P. Chavous
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What I Want to Know’ provides answers to some of the biggest questions in education. As the traditional model undergoes a dramatic shift accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are wondering what the future holds. Kevin P. Chavous connects with industry leaders to get their insights on how we can better prepare learners to unlock their full potential, no matter their learning environment. All listeners are encouraged to join the conversation on social media using #WIWTK. For more information, visit https://whatiwanttoknow.libsyn.com/.
episode 61: can games improve student outcomes?
A recent survey finds that nearly two-thirds of parents want schools to experiment with new ways of teaching children. But where do we begin? With so many issues to address, some influential voices say we should look to games for inspiration. Can games reinvigorate our kids' zest for learning? Can they improve student outcomes as a result? Dr. Barry Fishman, Professor in the Schools of Education and Information at the University of Michigan, joins Kevin in this episode. They'll discuss how games can help solve some of the biggest issues in education today and how they can help refocus our efforts on the fundamental goals of teaching and learning.
episode 60: how have the last two years impacted social and emotional learning?
Social and emotional learning - the process by which young people acquire the knowledge and skills to develop healthy identities, manage their emotions, show empathy for others, and achieve their personal goals - seems more important than ever after two years of pandemic lockdowns and social unrest. In this episode, Dr. Aaliyah Samuel, President and CEO of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, joins Kevin to discuss SEL, and how educators can help kids be their best.
episode 59: are we doing enough to support our teachers?
A recent study by Miami University of Ohio found that nearly two-thirds of teachers reported increased anxiety and emotional exhaustion concerns. In fact, with teacher shortages and student learning loss, 84 percent of teachers are working more than 40 hours per week. In this episode, Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO of Teach for America, joins Kevin to discuss what more we can do to support our teachers at this critical moment.
episode 58: how can we stop teen suicide?
Even before the pandemic, suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. Teenage emergency room visits for suicide attempts have risen sharply since 2020, with a 50 percent rise in cases involving young women alone. What has been driving these startling increases? And is there more our schools can do to help identify and intervene with at-risk kids before they attempt to hurt themselves or others? In this episode, Dr. David Brent, the Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, joins Kevin to discuss what more we can do to combat a problem that is reaching epidemic proportions.
episode 57: how can we expose more students to careers in data science?
In 2019, the highest-paying entry-level jobs were in data science, at $95,000 a year. But these lucrative jobs employ a smaller percentage of women and people of color than any other field. How can we spark interest in analytics as a springboard to careers in science and technology? And how can our schools ensure that STEM programs are open and accessible to all? Robert Clayton, CEO and Founder of the Sports Analytics Club Program, joins Kevin in this episode to tell us more about the program and what we all can learn from its successes to date.
episode 56: why should schools invest in arts education?
Despite what we know about the value of infusing art and music into our children’s lives, 1.3 million students in the United States do not have access to music education classes. Why aren’t we investing more in arts programs that enrich children’s lives and lead to success in other subjects? And what can we do to ensure more children are exposed to the transformative power of music and the arts? In this episode, Michael Powers, the music department chair at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, joins Kevin to explore how we can bring these programs to more kids and why it is vitally important that we do.
Episode 55: are our schools doing enough to support autistic students?
According to the latest research from the CDC, nearly 2 percent of all children in the United States sit on the autism spectrum. And of those millions of kids, the vast majority attend America's public schools. With diagnoses of autism on the rise in the U.S., are we equipped to provide these students with the assistance they need? In this episode, Dr. Connie Kasari, Professor of Human Development and Psychology at UCLA, joins Kevin to help us better understand the challenges that students with autism face and what our schools can be doing to help overcome those obstacles.
Episode 54: How can schools better support military families?
Roughly 1 million U.S. military children live around the world. And by the time they finish high school, they will attend nine different schools on average. What can we do to provide stability in their education? How can we help them deal with the stresses of having a parent deployed in a combat zone? And what should our traditional public schools do to ensure these kids get the support they need to succeed? The USO's Jennifer Thompson joins Kevin in this episode to help us understand what more we can do to support a student population that is too often overlooked in our conversations about reform.
episode 53: What Impact Is Parent Empowerment Having On Our Schools?
Parents across the country are taking a more active role in education policy than ever before. But are their voices actually being heard? What impact is parent activism having on hot-button issues like masking, vaccinations, and CRT? Are political issues stealing oxygen from more traditional conversations around curricula, testing, and student support? And how should teachers, administrators, and policymakers respond? Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley joins Kevin in this episode to discuss the issues that matter to moms and dads here in 2022—and what schools and school leaders should be doing to best navigate a new age of parent empowerment.
episode 52: What is the role of the library in the digital age?
There are more than 115,000 libraries in the United States today. But what purpose do they serve when information is so readily available on the internet? How must libraries evolve to remain relevant in the digital age? What can they contribute to building a more diverse and inclusive society? And how can libraries do more to support education throughout the country? In this episode, Kevin is joined by Tracie Hall, executive director of the American Library Association, to discuss the essential role of modern libraries—and how they can best contribute to a more educated, informed, and equitable society.
episode 51: What is our schools' role in promoting mental health?
In 2019, more than 1 in 3 high school students reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, a 40 percent increase since 2009. As a result of the pandemic, nearly 3 in 4 students reported experiencing increased stress and anxiety. With so many kids struggling today, what more can we do to ensure they get the help they need? And how can we help our schools be more helpful and supportive when managing mental health? In this episode, Kevin is joined by Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds, to discuss what more we can do as parents and educators to help kids overcome the challenges they face.
episode 50: Is it time to rethink teacher training and certification?
One in four teachers says they are likely to quit their jobs in the near future. And they will be leaving at a time when two-thirds of public-school districts are already struggling with the impacts of a nationwide teacher shortage. How can we attract more people to the teaching profession? And how can we streamline the process to fill open positions quickly? In this episode, Dave Saba, chief development officer of Teachers of Tomorrow, joins Kevin to outline what administrators and policymakers need to know about alternative certification programs—and how they can help remedy a teacher shortage that is reaching epic proportions.
episode 49: What should the modern school district look like?
The last two years have shown us a lot about school districts’ capacity for transformation. Education leaders see an opportunity not just to rethink public education but to implement real changes that deliver tangible results. But where should administrators be prioritizing their efforts to make the most significant impact? And most importantly, how can they drive transformation at scale so that every student and teacher they serve feels their efforts? In this episode, Kevin looks to Dr. Ann Chavez, co-founder and CEO of Modern Teacher, to discuss what we can learn from the nation's most forward-thinking leaders and educators as we seek to drive the transformations that will make our schools stronger.
episode 48: What can we do to break the school-to-prison pipeline?
School suspension is the number one predictor of whether a child will drop out of school, become reliant on social services, or spend time in prison as an adult. Still, students as young as four-years-old lose 11 million instructional days to out-of-school suspensions each year. And when they do, they take the first steps down a path toward the criminal justice system. What can we do to break the “school-to-prison pipeline?” In this episode, Jonathan Cabrera, founder, and CEO of Abstract Lifestyle, professor, rapper, and community activist, joins Kevin to discuss how we can engage troubled youth in ways that keep them from seeing the inside of a prison cell.
episode 47: Are student voices being heard by boards of education?
Among the largest school districts in the United States, 14 percent have students serving on their boards of education. Some have full voting rights, some play an advisory role, but all are there to help ensure that students are represented when adults make education policy. But are student voices really being heard when big decisions are made? How do students feel about the big issues school boards are tackling? And how can student board members improve the school governance process? In this episode, three students join Kevin to discuss their experiences serving as school board members.
episode 46: What should schools teach about climate science?
Despite overwhelming data to the contrary, 25 percent of Americans are still unsure that climate change is real. Could that be because only 42 percent of schools make it part of their curriculum, and only 45 percent of parents talk about it at home? Given the nature of the threat, what more could we be doing to help kids understand how climate change will impact their future? And what role should schools play in helping our children develop a healthy respect for science and how it can enrich and protect our lives? In this episode, Kevin looks to Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia, to talk about climate change and our schools' role in fighting it.
episode 45: How can we help students be more civic minded and socially conscious?
Now more than ever, it is important for our nation’s students to be socially conscious and civic minded. But how do we teach civics in an era of partisan politics? What can we do to infuse more fact and less fiction into those discussions? And what role does education play in creating responsible citizens who can move the country forward? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Maryland Democratic Candidate for Governor Wes Moore to discuss how we should engage today’s youth.
episode 44: Should K–12 assessment change with online and hybrid learning?
As the pandemic subsides and students return to in-person learning, 45 percent of families report they would prefer to keep their children online if given the chance. Twenty-two percent say they would opt for a hybrid model. As online and hybrid approaches gain traction, how must our testing and assessment regimes evolve to keep up? Where do we have opportunities to improve testing in a digital environment? And how might digital assessments help us personalize instruction and tailor lesson plans to each student? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Dr. Malbert Smith to explore the state of assessment today and how it can change to meet the needs of tomorrow.
episode 43: How can we better prepare students for college and careers?
According to a 2018 ACT study, 35 percent of high school graduates showed little or no readiness for college coursework. The COVID slide has made matters worse in the years since. One of the primary goals of our schools is to prepare students for college and a career. So, what can our schools do to ensure more high school graduates are ready for what’s next? How can higher education lead more people to a successful career? In this episode, Kevin speaks with John Thrasher, former president of Florida State University, to discuss how our educational system can better prepare students for college success and rewarding careers.
episode 42: What’s behind the push to ban books?
According to the American Library Association, there were 330 attempts to ban books between September 1 and December 1, 2021. In 2019, there were only 377 attempts for the entire year. Book challenges are clearly increasing in our schools. What types of books are targeted, and why are people demanding censorship? What is the impact on our kids and society at large when we decide to hide a story from our children’s eyes? In this episode, Dr. Emily Knox, associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, joins Kevin to discuss the motivations behind book banning and what it means for our children.
episode 41: How do wraparound services impact at-risk youth?
Studies show that children who truly connect with their schools go on to live healthier, happier lives. So, what are we doing to build and nurture those connections with at-risk youth? What steps are we taking to ensure students have basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter? And how can we bridge the divide between our schools and the community resources that positively impact children’s lives? In this episode, Dr. Heather Clawson, Chief Innovation and Program Officer at Communities in Schools joins Kevin to explore what more we can do to ensure at-risk kids receive the support they need.
episode 40: What is the state of school boards today?
A reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently wrote she "used to bring a book to school board meetings to read during the long presentations on the new boiler system." Now, she feels like she "needs to pack riot gear." As school issues become more sensationalized, how should school boards approach controversial and politicized topics? And how can they best serve the needs of students, parents, teachers, and administrators when their interests are often in conflict? In this episode, Georgia School Board Association executive director Valarie Wilson joins Kevin to explore the issues impacting school boards in 2022, and how members can best navigate a treacherous political landscape.
episode 39: What can America’s schools learn from other countries?
In the latest rankings from PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, the United States ranks outside the top 20 in science, reading, and math. How are countries in the top 10 outpacing student performance in the U.S.? What can we learn from their approach to teaching, curriculum, and assessment? In this episode, international education expert Pasi Sahlberg joins Kevin to discuss leading international approaches to education and what we can learn from our counterparts overseas.
episode 38: How can we empower young women to achieve their dreams?
While the U.S. has made great strides to achieve gender equality, studies still show that girls have less self-confidence than their male counterparts. What can schools do to close the confidence gap? How does this gap impact people of color? And how can we, as a society, make the most of what gender and racial diversity offers? In this episode, SpaceX astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor joins Kevin and shares her take on the power of perseverance, the importance of hard work, and what we can do to ensure young women know they have the freedom and opportunity to get the job done.
episode 37: How should schools be spending a windfall of federal aid?
As in-person learning resumes and a new normal takes shape, schools across the country must decide how to best allocate $189 billion in federal COVID relief. At the same time, the $2 trillion spending bill that passed in the fall will provide federal dollars for long-underfunded initiatives including universal pre–K, broadband access, and others. What can school leaders do to ensure this windfall is spent wisely? How can we guarantee funding will get students back on track and how can parents ensure their voices are heard when it comes to education spending decisions that impact their children? In this episode, Kevin is joined by Dr. Marguerite Roza as they explore how schools and districts can make smarter financial decisions at this critical point in time.
Episode 36: Is personalized learning the future of education?
In a recent survey of educators, 69 percent said that personalized learning will be more relevant to their work in the next few years. But what are the implications for curricula not based on “teaching to the middle?” How can we secure the required resources to provide every student with a personalized learning journey? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Lindsay Unified School District Superintendent Tom Rooney to discuss his district’s personalized learning approach and how it has benefited their entire learning community.
Episode 35: Can apprenticeships solve the manufacturing skills gap?
The U.S. needs to fill four million manufacturing jobs by 2030. According to The Manufacturing Institute research, if we continue down the current path, there won’t be enough people with the right skills to fill the gap. What can we do to encourage more young people to consider manufacturing jobs? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Tony Davis, Senior Director of Workforce Initiatives at the Manufacturing Institute, about apprenticeships and their role in American workforce development today.
episode 34: WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SCHOOL CHOICE MOVEMENT?
The educational school choice movement began 30 years ago when hundreds of Milwaukee students received publicly-funded scholarships to attend private schools. Today, nearly 5 million American school children attend quality public charter and private schools thanks to a host of school choice programs now offered in most states. What does the future hold for families seeking alternatives to traditional public schools? In this episode, Kevin is joined by school choice pioneer Dr. Howard Fuller to discuss the past, present, and future of the educational choice movement.
episode 33: What can we do to improve financial literacy in underserved communities?
A lack of financial literacy costs Americans $415 billion each year. How can we empower people with the knowledge they need to secure their financial future? What skills do they need to successfully manage personal finances? And what is the role of our schools in ensuring those skills are developed. In this episode, Kevin speaks with John Hope Bryant, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation Hope, to discuss what we can do to help young people and adults in underserved communities lead healthier financial lives.
episode 32: How do we improve the financial literacy of our youth?
Learning to manage money is a critical skill. Yet, 79 percent of teenagers today don’t have a savings account and 87 percent say they don’t know how to manage their money. What can we do to improve financial literacy among young people? In this episode, Kevin looks to Tanya Van Court, founder and CEO of Goalsetter, to explore how we can best prepare our kids to make the right financial decisions today, tomorrow, and throughout their lives.
episode 31: what is the future of lifelong learning?
When the pandemic began, low-wage workers comprised 43 percent of the U.S. labor force. Today, those same workers account for more than half of those still looking for a job. As a K-shaped recovery threatens to leave vulnerable populations behind, what can we do to help low-wage workers bounce back? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Steve Lee, executive director of the SkillUp Coalition, to explore how upskilling, reskilling, and a renewed commitment to lifelong learning can help level the playing field.
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