As part of the Washington D.C. Collaborative, WHUT launched five Digital Media Arts Clubs (DMACS) in area high schools to train students in the use of digital media and keep them interested in school, opening themselves up to college and career opportunities. The program, based on an expansion of National Black Programming Consortium's Public Media Corps initiative provides students the opportunity to produce public service announcements about their school experiences. In addition, WHUT has hosted a number of teacher work groups and filmed “Education Talks Back” forums at each of their partner schools. The “Education Talks Back” forums created a venue for students to address the challenges that can result from dropping out of school.
Recent News, Events & Programming:
WETA, along with its partner Double the Numbers (DTN), conducted a gap analysis of the dropout prevention services and support available for local youth. The analysis identifies what kinds of services are provided, where they are provided, and what is still needed – in each ward of Washington D.C. A snapshot of selected education and youth development organizations in DC can be found on DC Dropout Prevention Resources. Volunteer opportunities for those in the community to help keep students engaged in their school work are currently available through the Get Involved section of the D.C. Collaborative’s website.
WETA worked with the Community Foundation of the National Capital region to present a live Community Forum at Prince George’s Community College. The event featured Geoffrey Canada, founder and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, along with county community and education leaders discussing how the Harlem Children’s Zone might be a model for serving at-risk youth in Prince George’s County.
WAMU broadcast a series of “Community Minutes,” focused on the dropout crisis. The station featured a new partner monthly discussing community resources and opportunities available to local students and their parents. The station also produced a series of pieces about the dropout crisis in D.C., with WAMU education reporter Kavitha Cardoza and aired the radio documentary Fighting the Odds, also produced by Cardoza, which followed one of the lowest-performing schools in the District and explored the city’s dropout crisis through the eyes of students, teachers, administrators and parents. Dedicated education and dropout-focused programming included specials focused how schools in other parts of the nation are faring: examining high-stakes testing in Greensboro, NC, efforts to lessen the achievement gap between blacks and Latinos in New Jersey, and the high drop-out rate in Oakland, California, where fewer than half of public school students earn diplomas.
The D.C. Collaborative held its Teacher Town Hall last summer. Following the Town Hall, Michel Martin, host of the NPR program Tell Me More, sat down to talk with teachers from three communities with high dropout rates (Las Vegas, St. Louis, and Washington, DC) about why kids really drop out. One of the teachers was Dunbar High School’s (Washington, D.C.) David Tanzi, who was an active participant in the local DC town hall event.
Washington, DC public media stations participated in a nation-wide 'virtual teacher town hall' project. Teachers were asked a series of questions about things that are most important to them--from challenges to "A-ha! moments," from lessons learned to job satisfaction, from curriculum to parent engagement. The topics tackled in this project showcase a wide range of voices and provide teachers with a chance to interact and share with one another, all while adding to the conversation on America's schools. Hear more Teacher Voices.