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September 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm

After four years, $65 billion dollars in damage, and countless relief efforts, the region is still rebuilding the damage Superstorm Sandy left behind in its wake. Families and homeowners are still struggling to piece their lives back together, even after billions of dollars in relief money has been raised. So where did the money go? A new FRONTLINE documentary “Business of Disaster” follows the money trail and reveals who made a small fortune off of others misfortune. Correspondent Laura Sullivan, joins us to discuss the film and who makes their living off of disasters like Sandy.

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September 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Wyandanch in the town of Babylon has earned a reputation for being one of the poorest communities on Long Island. Surrounded by some of the most well-to-do areas in the United States, this working class hamlet has struggled with poverty and crime. But that’s all changing. Wyandanch is currently is the middle of a $500 million redevelopment plan, which calls for affordable housing, commercial businesses, infrastructure and transportation improvements. In our continuing series, Chasing the Dream, Long Island Business Report anchor Jim Paymar takes us to this little corner of Suffolk County to tell us what the plan could mean for other struggling communities across our area and across the country.

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September 19, 2016 at 6:27 pm

It’s the war on our southern border that few seem to want to talk about except, perhaps, for political gain. It’s a level of violence that according to the Mexican government has left over 164,000 dead and 23,000 missing since 2007. The new POV documentary “Kingdom of Shadows” explores this vicious struggle involving drug cartels, corrupt law enforcement officials and […]

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Episode
September 17, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the debates this election season have been unprecedented in modern politics, but imagine if they looked a little different, and the candidates actually discussed the issues on Americans’ minds rather than scream over each other and hurl insults. Intelligence Squared U.S. is an organization that seeks to restore civility and constructive public discourse to today’s media landscape, with their ultimate goal being to provide a new forum for intelligent debates of opposing viewpoints. Now they’ve set their sights on this election with a Change.org petition called “Fix America’s Presidential Debates!” to implement their style of informed debate for the current nominees. Intelligence Squared U.S. moderator and ABC News Correspondent John Donvan joins us to discuss intelligence squared and how their model may influence future presidential debates.

Next, PBS’ Spotlight Education Week nears it’s close, just in time for tomorrow’s American Graduate Day! We’ll have a preview of the public television project that aims to help local communities find ways to keep students on the path to graduation. What can you expect from the program and how does WNET hope to revolutionize learning? WNET’s Vice President of Education Carole Wacey joins us to answer those questions and offer more insight into American Graduate Day.

Then, what started as a Connecticut family’s birthday tradition evolved into a non-profit that’s given thousands of children the chance to make another kid smile. Growing up, Maya and Layla Wofsy made teddy bears on their birthdays to donate to children in need. Now teenagers, the girls and their parents host community and school events where children make stuffed animals and care packages through their organization Kidz Give Back. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez was there for one of the “Stuffed With Love” events at a Harlem school, and shows us what a difference these toys make for the kids who get them, as well as those who make them.

Finally, this week in history, a young, black woman was able to run from the shackles of 19th century slavery to freedom and forever changed the world. Known as “The Moses of Her People,” Harriet Tubman continued to travel into the southern states and liberated more than 300 slaves through the Underground Railroad over the course of 11 years. Tonight, in honor of this American legend, we’ll take you to her home in Upstate New York, which has become a historic site run by the National Park Service.

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September 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm

What started as a Connecticut family’s birthday tradition evolved into a nonprofit that’s given thousands of children the chance to make another kid smile. Growing up, Maya and Layla Wofsy made teddy bears on their birthdays to donate to children in need. Now teenagers, the girls and their parents host community and school events where children make stuffed animals and care packages through their organization Kidz Give Back. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez was there for one of the “Stuffed With Love” events at a Harlem school, and shows us what a difference these toys make for the kids who get them, as well as those who make them.

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Episode
September 15, 2016 at 5:31 am

Tonight, results from yesterday’s primary may have disappointed some New York incumbents, but it turns out a dead man can still pull in votes. We let you know where the votes fell and who will be taking over political office. With what is sure to be an exciting general election quickly approaching in November, how do the results from yesterday shift power in New York?

Next, all studies point to one thing that has a positive effect on not only the success of an individual but the national economy they live in: a quality education. That simple fact doesn’t change that America, once known as one of the top countries in educational achievement, has fallen behind, especially in topics such as math and science. So what is keeping our nation’s students back and how can we become top achievers again in a global market that becomes more competitive with each day? A new Nova documentary, School of the Future, explores those questions and the challenges facing today’s students. Dr. Pamela Cantor is one of the subjects in this film and she will join us to discuss the issues our kids deal with in and out of the classroom.

Then, as America’s youth heads back to school, high school seniors are facing the daunting task of applying to college. Between taking the SATs, writing admissions essays, and completing scholarship applications, the payoff has increasingly been a rejection letter from some of the most elite schools in the world. It’s a hard blow for many students and their parents, but does the university you attend really determine how bright your future could be? The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni joins us to discuss the stressful time students have applying for college and whether picking the right school is as important as we think it is.

Finally, what makes the world round, the sky blue, or gives every snowflake a unique shape? Those seemingly unanswerable questions are explored in a new PBS series called Forces of Nature. This four-part series will show how we experience the natural forces that shape our world and the fundamental laws governing all life and matter on Earth. Tonight, PBS’ Vice President of Programming Bill Gardner will join us to discuss the making of Forces of Nature and what you can expect from the program before it premieres tonight.

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September 14, 2016 at 6:28 pm

All studies point to one thing that has a positive effect on not only the success of an individual but the national economy they live in: a quality education. That simple fact doesn’t change that America, once known as one of the top countries in educational achievement, has fallen behind, especially in topics such as math and science. So what is keeping our nation’s students back and how can we become top achievers again in a global market that becomes more competitive with each day? A new Nova documentary, School of the Future, explores those questions and the challenges facing today’s students. Dr. Pamela Cantor is one of the subjects in this film and she will join us to discuss the issues our kids deal with in and out of the classroom.

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Episode
September 14, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is seen by some as one of the most contentious political races of our time. But what does it take to run for the most powerful office in the world? The Contenders: 16 for ’16 is a new PBS series that looks at the most compelling and influential presidential campaigns of the past fifty years using first-hand accounts from many former presidential hopefuls, from Jesse Jackson and Howard Dean to Gary Hart and Pat Buchanan. Carlos Watson, host of The Contenders: 16 for ’16 and editor of OZY Media, previews the series and its first episode, which explores the campaigns of Senator John McCain and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

Next, for many Americans, the progression of education is evident: finish high school, go to college, start your career. But what happens when you graduate and learn that the education you received is inadequate for the working world? Or worse, what if your school shuts down before you’ve even had a chance to complete your degree? Those are just some of the horrors faced by numerous students who attended a number of for-profit colleges across the country. Martin Smith, the correspondent in a new FRONTLINE documentary, A Subprime Education, discusses the film and the controversies behind these for-profit institutions.

Then finally, six years ago, Nadia Lopez launched the Mott Hall Bridges Academy with the message, “Open a school to close a prison.” At the time the academy opened in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most violent in neighborhoods in the city, every single enrolled student lived below the poverty line. Lopez admitted that she considered quitting after not having luck recruiting teachers to engage with the students. Her spirits were lifted when one of her students was featured on the beloved blog Humans of New York, and called Lopez his hero. The post was shared millions of times and the response was remarkable, garnering a million dollar fundraising campaign for the school and a chance to meet with President Barack Obama. Tonight, we tell you more about her amazing story and share her TED Talk, “Education Revolution,” in which she explains how her school transformed struggling NYC students into driven, hopeful scholars.

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September 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Six years ago, Nadia Lopez launched the Mott Hall Bridges Academy with the message, “Open a school to close a prison.” At the time the academy opened in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most violent in neighborhoods in the city, every single enrolled student lived below the poverty line. Lopez admitted that she considered quitting after not having luck recruiting teachers to engage with the students. Her spirits were lifted when one of her students was featured on the beloved blog Humans of New York, and called Lopez his hero. The post was shared millions of times and the response was remarkable, garnering a million dollar fundraising campaign for the school and a chance to meet with President Barack Obama. Tonight, we tell you more about her amazing story and share her TED Talk, “Education Revolution,” in which she explains how her school transformed struggling NYC students into driven, hopeful scholars.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jody and John Arnhold, the Tiger Baron Foundation, the Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross, the Dorothy Pacella Fund, in memory of Vincent Pacella and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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