Reality Check with Jeanne Allen-logo

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen

Education Podcasts

Get to know the real people, ideas and practices at work across the globe that are transforming the way we learn and live. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you won't want to miss a show! Subscribe now to catch the buzz on kids, policy, technology, and all of the latest in education.

Get to know the real people, ideas and practices at work across the globe that are transforming the way we learn and live. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you won't want to miss a show! Subscribe now to catch the buzz on kids, policy, technology, and all of the latest in education.


Washington, DC


Get to know the real people, ideas and practices at work across the globe that are transforming the way we learn and live. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you won't want to miss a show! Subscribe now to catch the buzz on kids, policy, technology, and all of the latest in education.








Countering COVID's Impact with Innovation in Education - A Look at Pennsylvania's Example

Join us for a conversation on how we're doing in education, and out, one year into this unparalleled challenge. What has changed? What remains to be done?


History, Wisdom and Hope for America’s Future

Robert Woodson (@BobWoodson), Founder and President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and Jeffery Sikkenga (@AshbrookCenter), Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center join Reality Check to talk about the state of our nation, civics and education across America, why it’s important that we do better in and out of the classroom and how the Constitution and First Amendment need to be read and understood more widely, especially in this unprecedented season of unrest around the world.


Now What? Podcast with the Pioneers

Kicking off the 4th season of Reality Check, Jeanne Allen talks with the leading pioneers of education opportunity whose work inspired the many transformative changes happening today about having a new president, new legislators, new everything. Listen to the inspiration of these five leaders who made choice famous, from AZ to DC, from the Badgers to the Wolverines: Lisa Graham Keegan, Kevin Chavous (@kevinpchavous), Howard Fuller (@HowardLFuller), J.C. Huizenga (@nhaschools), and Mickey...


How to Help Parents and Students Cope As Education Changes

Social worker, author and professional psychoanalyst Erica Komisar (@EricaKomisarCSW) joins Reality Check to discuss the latest findings on the condition of schoolchildren and their emotional, social and mental well-being throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and how parents and others can best support their young ones in these trying times. Thanks, doctor!


The Stakes are Too High

A look at Chicago, unions, kids and the future of schools post Covid. A well-known former Superintendent of major city school systems, the wonderfully outspoken Paul Vallas (@Paulvallas) joins Reality Check to discuss what to do in today’s unprecedented education environment — including where and whether parents should have a say, what the unions are doing and how he thinks other districts educators behave. Not an episode to miss!


Special Back-to-School ACTION Series Edition: 'What Parents Want'

Back to School season is usually filled with hope and promise and excitement over another milestone. But this year, Covid has created disruptions in how we do school and many districts and schools still have not finalized their opening plans. While stories abound about parents and their travails, few are asking the big question – What do parents want? Covering that question and more on this special edition of Reality Check are Colleen Dippel, Founder and CEO of Families Empowered...


Seth Andrews on His New College, Degrees Of Freedom

Seth Andrew (@SethAndrew) founder of the Democracy Prep charter school network and the social venture incubator Democracy Builders, joins Reality Check remotely to discuss newest endeavor, a college called Degrees of Freedom (, providing a hybrid late high school, early college experience for students who are low income and the first in their families to attend college. Listen for more!


Learning Keeps Going

Kevin P. Chavous, President of Academics, Policy, and Schools at K12, Inc., joins CER ACTION Series Webinars to talk about how his company is responding to students’ and families’ needs in this critical time for education, how educators and advocates in the space can support substantive changes for good in their own systems, and what we can expect in the future for schools across the country. Listen on for more! If you like what you heard, join CER for the next episode in the ACTION Series...


Special Release: The Future of School

This episode is a segment of the third CER ACTION series webinar that took place on April 21, with ASU Digital Prep CEO Julie Young, who joined Jeanne along with hundreds of listeners from all over to discuss her work in virtual education, now, in this serious time of global pandemic, and, for her students, during the regular schoolyear. If you want to know more about The Future of School, visit & bookmark, follow us on Twitter @edreform, and don’t miss upcoming CER webinars,...


Internet in a Box?

Need Internet access but don’t have broadband? Schools wrestling with how to help their students during this unprecedented crisis will want to hear Daniel Neal, Kajeet (@Kajeet) Founder & CEO, on another remote edition of Reality Check. Learn what he and Kajeet are doing now to “bridge the digital divide” and what you can do to respond to or get help during this challenging time.


The World of Credentialing, with Scott Cheney

Scott Cheney, executive director of Credential Engine, joins Reality Check to talk about the burgeoning marketplace of credentialing, and how policymakers, entrepreneurs and educators can work together to further streamline the pathways between high school, higher education and the workforce.


Higher Education that Works

Mark Defusco, CEO and President of Bay State College (@drmarkdefusco), joins Jeanne on Reality Check to discuss his efforts and experience in helping to create new and better pathways to careers for students in high school, college and those returning to higher ed, through Bay State and initiatives in online and remote education that are making it easier for students to succeed, no matter their location or circumstances...


EdInnovation in Italy...and Beyond

In anticipation of the planned U.S.-Italia Education Innovation Festival to be held this April in Ercolano, Italy and in light of the challenges both nations’ educators face with the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreaks, Reality Check talks to 5 innovators who are building and implementing products and services that not only help advance better learning but can be part of the solution to educating students outside of brick-and-mortar schools in this volatile time. For more information about the...


Can Innovation Help Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19? A conversation with visionary Jamie Candee

This week, Jamie Candee of Edmentum joins Reality Check with Jeanne and Michael to discuss the way online learning can be more relevant and helpful than ever not only when it comes educating students in both traditional settings and virtually, but also during times of national crises and strife, when more than ever students shouldn’t have to sacrifice their access to a great education, no matter what the situation. How can online learning programs, like Edmentum's, be particularly supportive...


The Future & Learning Technology: Adaptive, AI & Personalization

Area9 Group CEO Ulrik Juul Christensen joins Reality Check to talk about learning science and personalization, in a run up to his keynote at the U.S.-Italia Education Innovation Festival ( in Naples, Italy, April 27-29. From its origins in the 1980s to covering breakthrough new developments in technology, Artificial Intelligence and data science are fueling better, faster learning across the globe. How, why, and more about what it means for K to gray is a must listen.


From Politics to EdTech Innovator: Former MA Gov. Jane Swift

Join Jeanne and her co-host, Michael Musante, for this week’s conversation with former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift, President and Executive Director of LearnLaunch, an edtech innovation hub that connects innovators to emerging trends, and drives the development of high-quality educational opportunities for learners of all ages. LearnLaunch’s “Across Boundaries Conference,” which has been described as New England’s premier education event, will convene for its 8th annual gathering in...


A Passion for Education: Former NBA Star Jalen Rose

Join Jeanne and her co-host, Michael Musante, for this week’s inspirational podcast episode featuring former NBA basketball star, and ESPN talk show host Jalen Rose, the Founder and Chairman of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy charter high school in his hometown of Detroit, MI. Jalen holds nothing back when it comes to his passion for a high-quality education for every child, regardless of their zip code, or the circumstances of their home life or their neighborhoods. The Jalen Rose...


A Decision 144 Years In the Making: SCOTUS Takes On Blaine

Get ready for the most important education related Supreme Court case in 50 years by tuning into Jeanne’s interview with Kendra Espinoza, lead plaintiff in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, to be heard by the nation's highest court on January 22, 2020. A win for Espinoza would strike down the bigoted Blaine Amendments that currently exist in 37 states' constitutions and deny kids attending private schools equal access to state education funds. Also joining Jeanne and co-host Michael...


A Reality Check on the Democratic Presidential Candidate Education Forum, 12.14.19

The ever entertaining Michael Musante joins Jeanne as her new co-host in this special edition of Reality Check, talking to and about those who help children succeed in public charter schools, innovative institutions that will be maligned and misrepresented this weekend in Pittsburgh, when MSNBC airs the union-organized candidate forum on public education ( Hear veteran charter school educator Melanie Ward from Propel Schools (@PropelSchools), Brian Smith...


The Thrill of Discovering History, with John O'Neill

On this week's episode, episode 80, of Reality Check, Jeanne talks with best-selling author John O'Neill about his latest book, The Fisherman's Tomb, a taut theological thriller about the quest to solve one of the greatest archeological mysteries of all time: where was the tomb of St. Peter? O'Neill, a Naval Academy graduate, and former law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, has spent much of his life visiting and researching early Christian sites. Join Jeanne in...