freeimages.com/Griszka Niewiadomski

Another local community college is trying to make it easier for former students to return and earn their degrees and certificates.

Finger Lakes Community College is launching a Return to Finish program that will cancel any outstanding college bills, up to $1,200, once the student graduates.

We discuss the growth and impact of International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in schools. The programs aim to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal, and social skills for a globalizing world.

We talk with local program coordinators and students about their experiences and what an IB education looks like. In studio:

  • Barbara M. Surash, assistant superintendent for instruction at Hilton Central School District
  • Robert Chaffee, junior in the IB program at Hilton Central School District
  • Asad Muhamed, 2014 graduate of the IB program at Wilson Magnet High School, and 2018 graduate of the University of Rochester
  • Jason Cao, senior in the IB program at Wilson Magnet High School
  • Dwayne Hall, junior in the IB program at Wilson Magnet High School

The resignation of Congresswoman Katie Hill has sparked debate over intimate photos -- who takes them, who shares them, and whether it's good advice to warn people against having them. Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly warned younger staff against having nude photos, considering the possible damage.

But some activists contend that this is a form of victim blaming; they also see a generational divide. One writer on Twitter said, "I don't know any woman under the age of 40 who hasn't taken nude pics."

So what are the lessons from the Hill story? In studio:

  • Dr. Pebble Kranz, M.D., medical director of the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness
  • Megan Peterson, bar manager and women's studies major

What are local students learning about Thanksgiving? What’s often published in textbooks and taught in schools is a Euro-centric narrative that oversimplifies or omits the historical record, especially when it comes to atrocities endured by Native American people.

WXXI reporter Noelle Evans talked with local Native Americans and school staff members about Thanksgiving education. This hour, we talk about what she learned, and our guests discuss how to decolonize the Thanksgiving narrative. In studio:

  • Noelle Evans, reporter for WXXI News
  • Peter Jemison, historic site manager for Ganondagan
  • Amerique Wilson, library media specialist at Roberto Clemente School 8
  • Stephen LaMorte, executive director of social studies and community service learning at the Rochester City School District

We discuss “passion-based learning” with the co-founder of the MUSE School in Calabasas, California. Rebecca Amis says MUSE encourages children to pursue learning what they love – from wilderness survival training, the fashion design, to wolves – while incorporating concepts like math, science, and writing. The school also emphasizes sustainability and global stewardship; its goal is to be zero net energy, zero net water, and create zero waste.

Amis is in Rochester with Jeff King, the head of the school, for an event at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This hour, we sit down with them to explore MUSE’s teaching philosophy and its outcomes. In studio:

The debate over next steps for improving the Rochester City School District continues, and 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year Christopher Albrecht has ideas. Albrecht is not a teacher in the RCSD, but he says everyone should care about the fate of the district.

He joins us to share his thoughts on how to bring about positive change. In studio:

  • Christopher Albrecht, fourth grade teacher at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, and 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year

We sit down with Terry Dade, the new superintendent of the Rochester City School District. Dade signed a three-year contract with the district, and started the job on July 1. Previously, he served as assistant superintendent in Fairfax County Public Schools in the Washington, D.C. area, where he led an effort to improve some of that district’s lowest-performing schools.

Dade discusses his priorities for the RCSD and his ideas for making improvements in a number of areas. We also talk about the current debate over a possible state takeover of the district.

Should Regents exams be overhauled? It’s a question that the state Board of Regents plans to study this fall as it considers revisiting New York’s graduation policies. Critics of the exams – and of standardized testing – say there are different and equally rigorous methods to measure student proficiency. They also say the tests place undue burden on some students, particularly minority students. Supporters of the Regents exams say the tests have evolved in recent years and provide a needed final assessment of students preparing to graduate.

Our guests debate the value of these exit exams:

  • Sheila Byrne, Advanced Placement English teacher at Webster Thomas High School
  • Evvy Fanning, English teacher at a local suburban public school
  • Katie Baird, recent graduate of Webster Thomas High School
  • Calvin Eaton, founder and executive director of 540WMain Communiversity, and substitute teacher

When the University of Rochester signed on to serve as the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for struggling East High School, UR representatives acknowledged they did not enter the partnership lightly. In 2015, New York State labeled East an "out of time" school. It would have closed, if not for the EPO.

This hour, we sit down with representatives from the partnership to discuss the EPO’s three-year progress report. They share the challenges East has faced, the successes they’ve seen, and what they hope for the next phase of the collaboration. In studio:

  • Shaun Nelms, superintendent of the East EPO, and associate professor and William & Sheila Konar Director of the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education
  • Marlene Blocker, principal of East Upper School
  • Tanya Wilson Thevanesan, principal of East Lower School
  • Lorna Washington, assistant superintendent of Strategic Planning for the East EPO
  • Kyle Crandall, representative of the Rochester Teachers Association (RTA) for East, and president of the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition

With the 2018-2019 school year in the books, we sit down with teachers who just finished their first year in the classroom. We talk to them about the state of the teaching profession, the challenges and bright spots of working in the field, and what they learned during their first year on the job.

In studio: