Aired: July 28, 2017

Degrees of Separation: Teachers

From mandatory testing to terrible pay, teachers face formidable obstacles to doing their job and doing it well. In the next from our special series on inequality and education, we look into the reasons teachers quit and what keeps them in their jobs, plus some new approaches to make the lives of our educators a little easier.

Miss our first four episodes? Catch up on the full series here.

  • Teacher of the Year (5 min.)

    With: Shawn Sheehan (Norman High School)

    We talk with Shawn Sheehan, the Oklahoma state Teacher of the Year who left for Texas when his salary couldn’t pay the bills.

  • Burnt Out (10 min.)

    With: Richard Ingersoll (University of Pennsylvania)

    Teacher burnout is leading to high turnover in the profession — and millions of dollars in costs for districts. Richard Ingersoll studies what causes teachers to throw in the towel.

  • Teacher Governance (12 min.)

    With: Deborah Meier

    Debbie Meier is the founder of the “small schools movement” and an advocate for creating schools governed by their teachers. She says smaller schools can be labs for democracy and keep teachers, parents, and students active and involved.

  • Testing Teachers (14 min.)

    With: Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute)

    Often, identifying good teachers is key to making good schools. We talk to Linda Darling-Hammond on how teacher assessment can be improved to help students and teachers succeed.

  • How Unions Affect Students (10 min.)

    With: Richard Kahlenberg (Century Foundation)

    Teacher unions are taking hits from the right and left. Richard Kahlenberg explains what the research actually says about how teacher unions affect student outcomes.



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