Full Episode Apr. 24: Women in Tech, NY Education Commissioner John King, Subway Poetry

April 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

On this edition of MetroFocus, PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan tackles the question “Why aren’t there more women in tech?” A recent report on New York City’s tech ecosystem showed an 18 percent growth in tech-sector jobs over the past decade, much larger than the city or nation’s economy as a whole.

But men still outnumber women in tech by a ratio of 7 to 3 in the city. Sreenivasan interviews Jovena Whatmoor, one of the co-founders of NYTechWomen, who says “A lot of the early stage companies that I work with, the startups, you might not see a single woman.”

One of the solutions to bringing more women into technology jobs is education. The multi-billion dollar Cornell NYC Tech campus in planning stages on Roosevelt Island will create more opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. Cornell NYC Tech is a collaboration between Cornell University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman gets an update on the campus and on global tech education from Technion president Peretz Lavie.

Earlier this month, New York State Commissioner of Education John King spoke to students, faculty and education officials at NYU about the need for the Common Core despite recent criticism. In part two of his interview, King tells MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman about issues in public education that may be getting lost in the mix.

“If you look at the performance of our English language learners in the state, our students with disabilities, our students of color, our students in poverty, you see real, huge achievement gaps. Any time we’re spending talking about the politics rather than how we help those students is time not well spent.”

In the continuing series “Giving Back,” philanthropist Bernard L. Schwartz joins Pi Roman to talk about his interest in rebuilding America’s infrastructure, his new autobiography, “Just Say Yes,” and his charitable giving. “I was lucky. I talk about a lot of things, but luck was one of them. I think it’s important to have some kind of payback principle so that luck that I had, that opportunity that I had…was shared by other people.”

And as National Poetry Month comes to close, PBS NewsHour Weekend correspondent Ivette Feliciano introduces us to Madeline Schwartzman, a professor at Columbia University and Barnard College who collects a poem a day from New York subway riders. The project brings new meaning to the phrase “Poetry in Motion.”