Air date: 04/04/2013



Also featured: Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, New York Genome Center’s Dr. Robert Darnell, and the Sweater Tree of Hell’s Kitchen


MetroFocus takes a closer look at different approaches to saving failing schools. The New York Times’ Liz Robbins and video journalist Emma Cott report from what was Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the Bronx, now called Adlai E. Stevenson Educational Campus, which now houses nine separate small schools within the one building. MetroFocus airs Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. on WLIW21; Thursday, April 4 at 10:30p.m. on THIRTEEN; and Tuesday, April 9 at 10:30 p.m. on NJTV. After broadcast, the program will be available to national audiences on metrofocus.org with integrated online stories and additional reporting

Host Rafael Pi Roman interviews Mary Conway-Spiegel, founder of a new organization called Partnership for Student Advocacy that is raising awareness and funds for schools closing in New York City. NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider talks to David Kirp, author and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, about his book “Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools,” which discusses the successful programs that revitalized the public schools in Union City, New Jersey. Famous for her blog Generación Y that chronicles the daily lives of Cubans, Yoani Sánchez talks with Pi Roman in one of the few interviews conducted during her visit to the United States.In the interview, Sánchez discusses her efforts to find a way to distribute her writings on the internet, freedom of press, and her plans to return to Cuba despite the harassment that she endured there. Metrofocus.org features a longer clip from the Yoani Sanchez interview as well as a transcript in English and Spanish.

Also featured on this edition: Dr. Robert Darnell, the president and scientific director of the soon-to-open New York Genome Center. He speaks with Pi Roman about the Center’s new home in TriBeCa, how it brings together a near “dream team” of New York-area scientists, and the  scientific frontiers to be explored there. Concluding the program, MetroFocus uncovers the secret of the Sweater Tree of Hell’s Kitchen.

            A preview of the upcoming edition of MetroFocus is now available.

            MetroFocus is a production of WLIW21 in association with WNET, parent company of

THIRTEEN and WLIW21.  For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Jody and John Arnhold, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, The Nissan Foundation, and The Ford Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.



About MetroFocus
MetroFocus is a multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. The MetroFocus television program features interviews, in-depth reporting, content from many partners and solutions-oriented reports from the community. Major areas of coverage include sustainability, education, science and technology, the environment, transportation, poverty and underserved communities. MetroFocus.org amplifies that reporting with daily updates and original stories that also cover culture, government and politics, the economy, urban development and other news in the metropolitan region.  More information at: thirteen.org/metrofocus/about-us-faq/


About WNET
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and the operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah!  and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and, MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.







Rafael Pi Roman, host of MetroFocus