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September 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

School may have started in America, but around the world, there are still children who don’t have access to what many believe is a natural right: a basic education. Back in 2000, the United Nations set out to change that with the goal that come 2015, children everywhere would have the ability to complete a full course of primary education. Over the course of the past 16 years, cameras were rolling and followed 5 children from around the globe in their pursuit to finish a basic education. Now, a film called Time for School gives us a look into the lives of Nanavi in Benin, Jefferson in Brazil, Neeraj in India, Joab in Kenya, and Shugufa in Afghanistan. Nina Chaudry, the film’s director and producer, joins us tonight to share more about the making of this documentary and discuss the harrowing experience of these individuals as they strove to finish their schooling.

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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 6:29 pm

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?

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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.

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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.

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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 6:28 pm

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.

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Episode
September 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, 45 years ago today, the inmates in Attica Prison rose up, taking guards hostage in one of the most important moments in civil rights history. Their actions protested years of mistreatment in the Upstate New York prison, and the situation continued for four long days as prisoners negotiated with state officials for improved living conditions. On the last day, Governor Rockefeller ordered armed state troopers to storm the prison and retake it by force. That decision would cost 39 prisoners and hostages their lives. More than four decades later, historian Heather Ann Thompson will join us to discuss her book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy and her journey to uncover hidden evidence for which no one has been held accountable.

Next, Sunday marks 15 years since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s a day New York City won’t soon forget, and we have built countless tributes to ensure that we don’t. Tonight, we take a look at a new documentary that chronicles the building of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and the most overlooked aspects of the somber setting: the trees. Director of The Trees, Scott Elliott, and the Executive Producer Katherine Drew join us to discuss the 400 swamp white oaks that make-up one of New York City’s largest urban forests and the life they bring back to Ground Zero.

Finally, for more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has become a cornerstone for public television and story-telling. Household names in everything from politics to entertainment have been interviewed and have shared their lives with us, from Julia Child, to Bill Moyers, to Dick Cavett, and countless others. To honor more than half a century of ground-breaking programming, THIRTEEN will offer a special presentation of Pioneers of Thirteen, a look back into their rich archives spanning from the 1960’s to the present. Tonight, President and CEO of THIRTEEN Neal Shapiro joins us to discuss the four-part special and the many people that have helped to pioneer this network into the trusted platform it is today, from Edward R. Murrow to Dustin Hoffman.

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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, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.

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