OPB’s “Class of 2025” podcast takes an in-depth look at the challenges facing public schools today, explored through the lives of the students themselves. This new podcast is an extension of OPB’s multimedia news series “Class of 2025,” which began in 2012, after the state of Oregon promised to ensure that every child graduates on time by 2025.
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Each episode follows one or two kids in the class of 2025 — they’re now entering fifth grade — through the challenges and obstacles they face as public school students, as well as what teachers and administrators must overcome to meet that 100 percent graduation goal. The episodes dig deep into a variety of difficult issues — from learning disabilities and language barriers to homelessness and immigration policy. The show launches Sept. 5. and new episodes in the first season will arrive weekly this fall.
Episode 6: ‘I Feel Nervous’: When School Becomes A Sanctuary
What should schools do when a politically charged issue like immigration scares students?
Episode 5: Is Your Brain A Muscle Or A Machine?
Is your mind more like a muscle that you can build? Or a machine that can only do certain things well? A new focus on mindsets is changing classrooms.
Episode 4: ‘I Already Learned This’
How should schools teach kids who are way ahead of the pack, like Class of 2025 students Anna and Johnathan?
Episode 3: ‘I Felt I Just Wasn’t As Smart As Everybody Else’
States have increased their focus in recent years on disorders that can interfere with academic success, like dyslexia. Meet “Class of 2025” student Shelby as she tries to become a better reader.
Episode 2: ‘I Don’t Speak The Same Language As My Parents’
Ashley has done a great job of learning English as her second language. But what about her first language, Spanish?
Episode 1: Who Cares About School When You Don’t Have A Home?
Fourth grade marked his first time back in a public school after being homeschooled in his family’s trailer. But partway through the year, Ethan became homeless.