EdSource’s Education Beat podcast highlights stories from our reporters with voices from the classroom, including teachers, parents, and students themselves. Education Beat strives to get to the heart of California schools, bringing listeners the personal stories behind the headlines.

As 2022 comes to a close, here are a few of our favorite podcast episodes, one for each month of this year. Take a listen:

January: Pozole for lunch

We visit Davenport, California, a coastal town south of San Francisco, home to a tiny district with just one school, where students make the school lunch. The program is a boon for the district, boosting its enrollment by attracting students from nearby wealthier districts.

Listen to fifth and sixth graders prepare and eat a delicious pozole:

February: Should we screen all kids for dyslexia?

A mother shares how her son went years without help for his dyslexia – still reading at a kindergarten level in sixth grade. And we explore what can be done to keep children with dyslexia from slipping through the cracks.

Listen:

March: A place to park makes a difference for homeless families

When staff at New Haven Unified School District began investigating why so many students had stopped coming to class, they realized that rent hikes had forced many families to live in their cars. So officials in the district helped set up a program to offer homeless families with children a place to park.

Listen to one mom who once used the parking program and now helps feed her neighbors still living in their cars:

April: Should a small town library be turned into a police station?

A small town in the Central Valley could convert its community library into a police station. The proposal has upset many residents who say that the library is vital for reading, homework, and community.

Listen to a sixth grader share why she loves the library:

After widespread community protest, Kern County expanded the library’s hours to open five days a week. Yet the city leaders of McFarland are doubling down, saying the police need the library building to meet the town’s public safety needs.

Listen to our follow-up episode:

May: How we can turn aides, bus drivers and attendance clerks into bilingual teachers

California is pushing to expand bilingual programs for all students, but the state has a huge obstacle — it needs more bilingual teachers. Some say we need to look beyond colleges and universities, and instead find new teachers among bus drivers, teachers’ aides and attendance clerks.

Listen to how one young mom went from speech therapy aide to bilingual teacher:

 *Weeks after this episode aired, our guest Alejandra Silva, passed away. Our hearts go out to her family and friends.

June: How restorative justice transformed this Oakland school

Fremont High in Oakland has transformed discipline, attendance and graduation rates, with a newly rebuilt campus and an intensive focus on improving campus climate. The number of students who qualify for college admission has nearly tripled.

Listen to students share how the restorative justice program has transformed their school:

July: Compton journalism class aims to boost English skills

In Compton Unified School District, English learners boost their English language skills by taking a journalism class where they learn to interview and write articles.

Listen to students and their teacher:

 August: Teens fight for the right to vote for school board

High schoolers in California have been organizing to give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in local school board elections, but some measures passed in recent years still haven’t been implemented.

Listen to a teen organizer:

September: Why do so many kids struggle to learn to read?

Half of California third graders can’t read at grade level. Research suggests most children must be explicitly taught how to connect sounds with letters, yet many children are not taught how to do that.

Listen to one mom’s experiment to find out why her daughter can’t read:

October: Conservatives aim to take control of school boards

The California Republican Party, churches and conservative organizations recruited and trained dozens of candidates to run for school board across California. Some of their goals include fighting against teaching about racism and racial equity and the acceptance of different gender identities. What’s at stake in the school board elections?

Listen:

November: How counselors are tracking down missing students

Half of all students in California’s largest district, Los Angeles Unified, missed 15 or more days of school last year.

Listen to an attendance counselor who tracks down missing students:

December: Prisoner turned college student

For students who have spent time in jail, having a home, with space to study and supportive roommates, can make it a lot easier to succeed.

Listen to a former prisoner now on track to a college degree:

Like what you heard? Subscribe to Education Beat on Apple,  Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. And share with your friends!

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  1. Brenda Lebsack - Teacher 1 month ago1 month ago

    Concerning the podcast about conservatives not wanting to teach against "racism", this is a false representation. What conservatives are fighting for is full disclosure of definitions, policies, curriculum, and laws that have removed parent rights. They seek to stop the lies that Critical Race Theory is only for higher education, which has been said by Tony Thurmond (State Sup't) and E. Toby Boyd (President of the CTA). CRT is endorsed by … Read More

    Concerning the podcast about conservatives not wanting to teach against “racism”, this is a false representation. What conservatives are fighting for is full disclosure of definitions, policies, curriculum, and laws that have removed parent rights. They seek to stop the lies that Critical Race Theory is only for higher education, which has been said by Tony Thurmond (State Sup’t) and E. Toby Boyd (President of the CTA). CRT is endorsed by the National Educators Association for K-12 education. Here is the document. https://web.archive.org/web/20210717130547/https://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=https%3a%2f%2fra.nea.org%2fbusiness-item%2f2021-nbi-038%2f&d=4585809818419222&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=5cJWRRYjfIMlYoNuJUZphyjxO9_EOzYt
    Thurmond and Boyd know this, but they lie anyways, with no accountability from the media (including EdSource).

    CRT does not promote tolerance, it promotes radical activism for radical ideologies of ever expansive and evolving genders and sexualities. This is why Martin Luther King Junior was not included in the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum list of noble African Americans, instead he was negatively labeled as passive and docile.

    Would Martin Luther King call the affirmation of over 100 sexualities anti-racism? No, but the CRT ideology does.

    EdSource: Practice Equity with Equal time and representation.