All Social Studies

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Current Event February 28, 2018

What Students Understand about Slavery

Race Education US History I

A recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds that most high school seniors do not fully understand the history of slavery in the U.S. The study also finds that educators often are not provided with good materials, training, or standards for teaching students about slavery in American schools. It’s an uncomfortable subject, and many curriculum materials guide teachers to highlight heroes, such as Harriet Tubman, before teaching about the realities of slavery. Listen to this story to hear about problems and possible solutions to understanding the history and of slavery and its relevance today.

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Monticello

Current Event October 16, 2018

Sally Hemings Exhibit Highlights America's Complex History

Race US History I Slavery KERA

Originally organized by the Jefferson estate and the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, an exhibit called “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello” has been expanded to include recently discovered items associated with Sally Hemings. Hemings was an enslaved woman owned by Thomas Jefferson and also the mother of several of his children. Listen to hear one of their descendants, who now works at Monticello, reflect on the complexity of American history as represented in the exhibit.

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Kavanaugh

Current Event October 15, 2018

Kavanaugh Confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

Civics/Government Politics Gender

In a recent Senate vote, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired. The confirmation proceedings were very contentious, and the Senate vote was among the closest in history. After hearings about accusations of assault, reactions to Kavanaugh’s nomination were full of emotion and partisanship. Listen to hear about this historic vote.

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Current Event October 5, 2018

Debate: Should E-Cigarettes Be Banned?

Health Government

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says there is an epidemic of e-cigarette use among kids, and they are trying to address it. To do this, they are cracking down on those who make and sell e-cigarettes. Listen to hear what the FDA is doing and how different groups feel about it, and then debate: Should e-cigarettes be banned?

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Jack dorsey

Current Event October 12, 2018

Debate: Should Facebook and Twitter be required to protect us?

Civics/Government Politics Democracy

Top executives from Facebook and Twitter recently met with Congressional committees about their roles in stopping interference in American elections by international powers such as Russia and Iran. Signs indicate that such interference remains a significant problem heading into the upcoming elections, and major social networks report that they are making efforts to address the issue. Listen to learn about what the networks are doing and debate: Should Facebook and Twitter be required to protect us?

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Better barn owl

Current Event October 11, 2018

What Owls Can Teach Us About Attention and Focus

Life Science biology

Researchers are studying barn owls to better understand how they are able to focus so intensely, with the goal of shedding light on why some humans struggle with focused attention. Specifically, they are studying how the owl brain ignores all the information that distracts from what is most important to the owl’s survival. Listen to learn how and why research on owl brains might be able to help people with attention issues.

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Naturalization ceremony

Current Event October 9, 2018

Becoming a Citizen Takes Longer

Politics Democracy

The process of becoming a legal U.S. citizen has been lengthening for years, but the backlog in citizenship applications has increased significantly during the Trump administration, which is concerning to immigrant advocates. People applying for citizenship must fill out a written application, take a citizenship test, and be interviewed, and each of those steps takes longer now. Listen to hear about recent changes in the citizenship application process and timeline and how they are viewed by various participants in the process.

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Voting

Current Event September 25, 2018

Why Don't More Americans Vote?

Civics/Government Politics Race Democracy

Interest in the upcoming midterm elections is higher than it has been in a long time, yet many Americans who are eligible to vote do not do so. More people tend to vote when there is a presidential race on the ballot. However, elections between those races (called midterms), which include important Congressional races, also have a significant impact on the lives of Americans. Listen to hear why some Americans who are able to vote have chosen not to cast a ballot and what that may mean for the election outcomes.

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Brett kavanaugh

Current Event October 4, 2018

High School Reactions to Kavanaugh Hearings

Politics Gender Culture Violence Government Civics Women's Rights

Additional hearings were added to the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh to address allegations made by a woman who testified that he assaulted her when they were in high school in 1982. A current high school senior wrote and published an opinion piece describing her experience of the hearings. Listen to hear an interview with the student author about her reflections on the testimony and its implications.

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Stumpp

Current Event September 13, 2018

One Square Inch of Silence

Environment Human Impacts Ecology

Places without any human-made sound are rapidly disappearing. The “One Square Inch of Silence” project aims to preserve one such place in the Hoh River Valley, located in Washington’s Olympic National Park. Listen to a sound specialist guide a trek into the rainforest to experience natural silence.

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Old schoolroom

Current Event September 14, 2018

Debate: Should Schools Be Redesigned?

Education Design

The design of schools and classroom spaces can have a big impact on students’ learning experiences. This story follows an architecture critic’s tour of a 90-year-old New York City school building and her commentary on the history of school design. Listen to learn about the relationship between classroom design and educational goals, and then debate whether schools should be redesigned for today’s students and teachers.

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Dallas police patch

Current Event September 18, 2018

White Off-Duty Police Officer Shoots Black Man at Home

Race Violence KERA

A 26-year old black man was shot and killed in his own Dallas apartment by a white off-duty police officer who told investigators that she mistakenly entered his apartment, thinking it was her own. The officer was arrested for manslaughter and released on bond. Listen to hear reflections on this tragedy from the victim’s mother and others affected by his death.

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Ladyjustice

Current Event September 17, 2018

Kavanaugh Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Move Forward

Politics Democracy Branches of Government U.S. Constitution

Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced many questions during his Senate confirmation hearings. He testified for days, answering questions from Senators about presidential power, abortion laws, and a variety of other issues. The hearings are intended to help the Senate and the public learn more about the president’s nominee for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court, whose decisions will impact generations. Listen to hear about some of the major issues raised during these important hearings.

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Tapes

Current Event September 21, 2018

Debate: Should Secret Recordings Be Allowed at Work?

Culture Law Ethics

There have been several recent high profile cases of employees secretly recording conversations with colleagues at work and then sharing those recordings. This practice is controversial. Some say that it is the only way that they will be believed when reporting that a colleague has behaved inappropriately. Others say that it interferes with trust and damages workplace culture. Listen to hear arguments on both sides and debate: Should secret recordings be allowed at work?

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Better car photo

Current Event September 24, 2018

Supplies Scarce in Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

Weather and Climate

It has been a major challenge for many people in the Carolinas to get their basic needs met in the wake of Hurricane Florence, which hit land Friday, September 14th. In addition to power shortages caused by the storm, the flooding and destruction have made it difficult for many people to find food, gasoline, and safe places to stay. Listen to hear about how Hurricane Florence has affected people’s everyday lives.

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