Radio | Watch/Listen | American Graduate (Main)

American Graduate Documentaries 

Listen to the latest two audio documentaries tied to education challenges happening throughout the country. Both documentaries/websites were produced by APM Reports, from American Public Media.

What It Takes: Chasing Graduation at High-Poverty High Schools
The nation's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but high-poverty schools face a stubborn challenge. Schools in Miami and Pasadena are trying to do things differently. Read the full story.

Spare the Rod: Reforming School Discipline

A get-tough attitude prevailed among educators in the 1980s and 1990s, but research shows that zero-tolerance policies don't make schools safer and lead to disproportionate discipline for students of color. Read the full story

Listen to American Graduate Radio Stories

Among our public television stations across the country, several public radio stations are also participating in bringing awareness to the dropout crisis and improving youth outcomes. See what several stations have reported so far.


Voices From The Classroom
WFSU/Mar. 3, 2016
Anna will graduate from Lawton Chiles High School in 2017. She has always been an avid reader, and started writing around 9th grade. Her father inspired and encouraged her to read as he shared his own experience with writing. Read the full story here.

Voices From The Classroom
WFSU/Feb. 11, 2016
Zach is really involved in high school, activities, and his music. He is in a band and he feels it helps him express himself. Zach is in the punk scene, and he explains that other punk rockers usually don't care about school. He wants to be the person from the punk scene who says that it's a good idea to stay in school. Read the full story here.

The Gap in Cleveland's High School Graduation Rates
ideastream/Jan. 26, 2016
At an American Graduate forum hosted by ideastream earlier this week, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon said that African-American and Hispanic graduation rates are both higher than white student graduation rates. Read the full story here.

Bridges As Art: Trinity School Alumna Gives A Lesson In Tech And Design
WFSU/Jan. 28, 2015
A local business is marrying art with engineering—a feat that’s made it one of the most in-demand firms in the nation when it comes to building industrial bridges. Wednesday the Figg Engineering group stopped at Trinity Catholic School to show kids how it’s done. Read the full story here.

Here's A Unique Approach To Keep Kids In High School: Pay Them
KUNC/Jul. 28, 2015
While many of their friends are hanging out at the mall or playing video games at home during the summer, about 40 high school sophomores and juniors are spending their vacation days in class. But unlike a typical summer school... this program actually pays them to be there. Read the full story here.

Beating The Odds: Student Flees Cameroon With Family, Starts Anew In D.C.
WAMU/Jun. 12, 2015
When Georges Nyap was 15, his father, a college professor in Cameroon, started having "political and ethical conflicts" with his supervisors over an international development project. The family started receiving threatening phone calls. Then one Sunday things got far more serious. Read the full story here.

Beating The Odds: Besting Food Allergies, Homelessness, On Path To Graduation
WAMU/Jun. 12, 2015
Coumba Gueye is gentle with long braids and a shy smile. Her mother has sickle cell disease and was hospitalized for a month when Coumba was 8 years old. She lost her job, couldn't pay the rent and found herself homeless with Coumba and her little sister. Read the full story here.

Colorado Literacy Program Aims To Help Struggling Young Readers
KUNC/May. 20, 2015
More than 10,500 students left high school in 2014 without a diploma. Although the current dropout rate of 2.4 percent is the lowest since 2002, education officials agree more help is needed. Read the full story here.

One Teacher's Journey Through The Challenges Of A High-Risk School
WAMU/Apr. 3, 2015
Teachers in D.C. schools are under immense pressure to improve students test scores. Their job security depends on it. At the same time, teachers who do well can make tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses. Alli Baugher is a dedicated, high-achieving teacher who's dealing with burnout after just eight years on the job. Read the full story here.

What Can We Learn From The Latest Stats On D.C. Charter Schools?
WAMU/Mar. 20, 2015
In the District, charters educate nearly half of all school-aged children. But some big questions are swirling around charter schools, particularly in terms of the students they choose to enroll and how those students fare in the classroom. Metro Connections host Rebecca Sheir and WAMU 88.5 News special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza discussed those topics. Read the full story here.

Ed advocate thinks flexibility can fight a “dropout system”
CPT12, KUNC/March 4, 2015
Steve Dobo is committed to getting the dropout rate number to zero, so much so that he’s developed a company called Zero Dropouts. Read the full story on CPT12 and listen to it below. 


Graduation takes courage and hard work
WSKG/Jordyn McCants, Grade 10
"I wish all kids took school seriously, but they don't. They think it's a joke that they won't graduate. But, if your attendance and grades are not good, then you can forget about graduating on-time." Hear the full clip below. 

First to Graduate
WSKG, Darious Bailey
"My mom did not finish high school because she had my sister. It was hard for her. She tells me, "Son, you can't get anywhere in life without an education!" Hear his story below. 


One Student's Experience Dropping Out, And Getting Back In
CPT12, KUNC/March 3, 2015
Bishop Albright dropped out of school to help take care of his son, but a new program has helped re-engage him in his education. Read the full story on CPT12 and listen to it below.

Jefferson Elementary Turns To Music For Academic Inspiration
WFSU/Feb. 2, 2015
During budget cuts, local school courses in arts and music are often the first to go. But what happens when a school, or district—goes against the trend and starts putting those classes back in? Jefferson county's elementary school is trying to find out. Read the full story here.

Eighth Graders Told They Can Overcome
ideastream/Dec. 22, 2014
Five recent high school graduates formed a panel that spoke to more than 100 eighth-grade students in a low-income neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The panel and event was moderated by Basheer Jones. Listen to what happened that day. Read the full story here.

Blended learning shows promising results at D.C. Schools
WAMU/Oct. 6, 2014
The blending learning model of instructor-led classroom and online technology is seeing big results in some Washington D.C. classrooms. Read the full story on WAMU.

Listen to other WSKG youth media projects here. 

For a full list of radio offerings, visit the Public Radio Exchange playlist.

Marfa Montessori goes public
PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs/September 5, 2014
In Marfa, Texas, a Montessori school integrates with a public school. KTRS Youth Media students report on the education shift. Read all of the stories of this series.