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.

Continue Reading

Clip
September 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

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.

Continue Reading

Clip
September 14, 2016 at 6:26 pm

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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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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Clip
September 13, 2016 at 6:29 pm

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.

Continue Reading

Clip
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.

Continue Reading

Episode
September 13, 2016 at 5:26 am

Tonight, School is back in session for the academic year and this week, we’ll be taking various looks into education and academics. Tonight Soledad O’Brien is back to tell us about hosting American Graduate Day, a PBS special celebrating individuals and organizations that are helping kids stay on track for graduation. She will also talk about how mentoring has played an instrumental part in her life and about Starfish Foundation, her non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping young women graduate and pursue higher education.

Next, yes, you read that right. New York is holding its third and final primary tomorrow, September 13, before the general election in November. What kind of power is at stake this close to Election Day? The answer is simple: a lot. And after previous primaries in April and June, worries over voter fatigue and low turnout may not be an overreaction. POLITICO’s Albany Bureau Chief Jimmy Vielkind gives us more information on how tomorrow’s primary has the potential to shift the balance of power in Albany and the rest of New York State. Plus, he reacts to the frenzy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s fainting spell after leaving the 9/11 Memorial in New York this weekend.

Finally, college, for most Americans, is seen as a gateway to opportunity and success; and for some, could be an opportunity taken for granted. For many young black men living in under-served communities, the notion of not only obtaining admission to but graduating from a university seems out of the question. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 52% of black high school graduates enrolled in a college or university in 2015, and the majority of that percentage were female students. Robert Henderson III is one of the subjects of a new POV documentary called All the Difference, which offers a look into the challenges facing young black men seeking a post-secondary education. He joins us to discuss the film and share his college experiences.

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Clip
September 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm

School is back in session for the academic year and this week, we’ll be taking various looks into education and academics. Tonight Soledad O’Brien is back to tell us about hosting American Graduate Day, a PBS special celebrating individuals and organizations that are helping kids stay on track for graduation. She will also talk about how mentoring has played an instrumental part in her life and about Starfish Foundation, her non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping young women graduate and pursue higher education.

Continue Reading

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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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