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What I Want to Know with Kevin P. Chavous

Education Podcasts

‘What I Want to Know’ provides answers to some of the biggest questions in education. As the traditional model undergoes a dramatic shift accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are wondering what the future holds. Kevin P. Chavous connects with industry leaders to get their insights on how we can better prepare learners to unlock their full potential, no matter their learning environment.

‘What I Want to Know’ provides answers to some of the biggest questions in education. As the traditional model undergoes a dramatic shift accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are wondering what the future holds. Kevin P. Chavous connects with industry leaders to get their insights on how we can better prepare learners to unlock their full potential, no matter their learning environment.


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‘What I Want to Know’ provides answers to some of the biggest questions in education. As the traditional model undergoes a dramatic shift accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are wondering what the future holds. Kevin P. Chavous connects with industry leaders to get their insights on how we can better prepare learners to unlock their full potential, no matter their learning environment.




50. Is it time to rethink teacher training and certification?

One in four teachers says they are likely to quit their jobs in the near future. And they will be leaving at a time when two-thirds of public-school districts are already struggling with the impacts of a nationwide teacher shortage. How can we attract more people to the teaching profession? And how can we streamline the process to fill open positions quickly? In this episode, Dave Saba, chief development officer of Teachers of Tomorrow, joins Kevin to outline what administrators and...


49. What should the modern school district look like?

The last two years have shown us a lot about school districts’ capacity for transformation. Education leaders see an opportunity not just to rethink public education but to implement real changes that deliver tangible results. But where should administrators be prioritizing their efforts to make the most significant impact? And most importantly, how can they drive transformation at scale so that every student and teacher they serve feels their efforts? In this episode, Kevin looks to Dr. Ann...


48. What can we do to break the school-to-prison pipeline?

School suspension is the number one predictor of whether a child will drop out of school, become reliant on social services, or spend time in prison as an adult. Still, students as young as four-years-old lose 11 million instructional days to out-of-school suspensions each year. And when they do, they take the first steps down a path toward the criminal justice system. What can we do to break the “school-to-prison pipeline?” In this episode, Jonathan Cabrera, founder, and CEO of Abstract...


47. Are student voices being heard by boards of education?

Among the largest school districts in the United States, 14 percent have students serving on their boards of education. Some have full voting rights, some play an advisory role, but all are there to help ensure that students are represented when adults make education policy. But are student voices really being heard when big decisions are made? How do students feel about the big issues school boards are tackling? And how can student board members improve the school governance process? In...


46. What should schools teach about climate science?

Despite overwhelming data to the contrary, 25 percent of Americans are still unsure that climate change is real. Could that be because only 42 percent of schools make it part of their curriculum, and only 45 percent of parents talk about it at home? Given the nature of the threat, what more could we be doing to help kids understand how climate change will impact their future? And what role should schools play in helping our children develop a healthy respect for science and how it can enrich...


45. How can we help students be more civic minded and socially conscious?

Now more than ever, it is important for our nation’s students to be socially conscious and civic minded. But how do we teach civics in an era of partisan politics? What can we do to infuse more fact and less fiction into those discussions? And what role does education play in creating responsible citizens who can move the country forward? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Maryland Democratic Candidate for Governor Wes Moore to discuss how we should engage today’s youth.


44. Should K­–12 assessment change with online and hybrid learning?

As the pandemic subsides and students return to in-person learning, 45 percent of families report they would prefer to keep their children online if given the chance. Twenty-two percent say they would opt for a hybrid model. As online and hybrid approaches gain traction, how must our testing and assessment regimes evolve to keep up? Where do we have opportunities to improve testing in a digital environment? And how might digital assessments help us personalize instruction and tailor lesson...


43. How can we better prepare students for college and careers?

According to a 2018 ACT study, 35 percent of high school graduates showed little or no readiness for college coursework. The COVID slide has made matters worse in the years since. One of the primary goals of our schools is to prepare students for college and a career. So, what can our schools do to ensure more high school graduates are ready for what’s next? How can higher education lead more people to a successful career? In this episode, Kevin speaks with John Thrasher, former president of...


42. What’s behind the push to ban books?

According to the American Library Association, there were 330 attempts to ban books between September 1 and December 1, 2021. In 2019, there were only 377 attempts for the entire year. Book challenges are clearly increasing in our schools. What types of books are targeted, and why are people demanding censorship? What is the impact on our kids and society at large when we decide to hide a story from our children’s eyes? In this episode, Dr. Emily Knox, associate professor in the School of...


41. How do wraparound services impact at-risk youth?

Studies show that children who truly connect with their schools go on to live healthier, happier lives. So, what are we doing to build and nurture those connections with at-risk youth? What steps are we taking to ensure students have basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter? And how can we bridge the divide between our schools and the community resources that positively impact children’s lives? In this episode, Dr. Heather Clawson, Chief Innovation and Program Officer at Communities in...


40. What is the state of school boards today?

A reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently wrote she "used to bring a book to school board meetings to read during the long presentations on the new boiler system." Now, she feels like she "needs to pack riot gear." As school issues become more sensationalized, how should school boards approach controversial and politicized topics? And how can they best serve the needs of students, parents, teachers, and administrators when their interests are often in conflict? In this...


39. What can America’s schools learn from other countries?

In the latest rankings from PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, the United States ranks outside the top 20 in science, reading, and math. How are countries in the top 10 outpacing student performance in the U.S.? What can we learn from their approach to teaching, curriculum, and assessment? In this episode, international education expert Pasi Sahlberg joins Kevin to discuss leading international approaches to education and what we can learn from our counterparts overseas.


38. How can we empower young women to achieve their dreams?

While the U.S. has made great strides to achieve gender equality, studies still show that girls have less self-confidence than their male counterparts. What can schools do to close the confidence gap? How does this gap impact people of color? And how can we, as a society, make the most of what gender and racial diversity offers? In this episode, SpaceX astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor joins Kevin and shares her take on the power of perseverance, the importance of hard work, and what we can do to...


37. How should schools be spending a windfall of federal aid?

As in-person learning resumes and a new normal takes shape, schools across the country must decide how to best allocate $189 billion in federal COVID relief. At the same time, the $2 trillion spending bill that passed in the fall will provide federal dollars for long-underfunded initiatives including universal pre–K, broadband access, and others. What can school leaders do to ensure this windfall is spent wisely? How can we guarantee funding will get students back on track and how can...


36. Is personalized learning the future of education?

In a recent survey of educators, 69 percent said that personalized learning will be more relevant to their work in the next few years. But what are the implications for curricula not based on “teaching to the middle?” How can we secure the required resources to provide every student with a personalized learning journey? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Lindsay Unified School District Superintendent Tom Rooney to discuss his district’s personalized learning approach and how it has benefited...


35. Can apprenticeships solve the manufacturing skills gap?

The U.S. needs to fill four million manufacturing jobs by 2030. According to The Manufacturing Institute research, if we continue down the current path, there won’t be enough people with the right skills to fill the gap. What can we do to encourage more young people to consider manufacturing jobs? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Tony Davis, Senior Director of Workforce Initiatives at the Manufacturing Institute, about apprenticeships and their role in American workforce development today.


34. What’s next for the school choice movement?

The educational school choice movement began 30 years ago when hundreds of Milwaukee students received publicly-funded scholarships to attend private schools. Today, nearly 5 million American school children attend quality public charter and private schools thanks to a host of school choice programs now offered in most states. What does the future hold for families seeking alternatives to traditional public schools? In this episode, Kevin is joined by school choice pioneer Dr. Howard Fuller...


33. What can we do to improve financial literacy in underserved communities?

A lack of financial literacy costs Americans $415 billion each year. How can we empower people with the knowledge they need to secure their financial future? What skills do they need to successfully manage personal finances? And what is the role of our schools in ensuring those skills are developed. In this episode, Kevin speaks with John Hope Bryant, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation Hope, to discuss what we can do to help young people and adults in underserved communities lead...


32. How do we improve the financial literacy of our youth?

Learning to manage money is a critical skill. Yet, 79 percent of teenagers today don’t have a savings account and 87 percent say they don’t know how to manage their money. What can we do to improve financial literacy among young people? In this episode, Kevin looks to Tanya Van Court, founder and CEO of Goalsetter, to explore how we can best prepare our kids to make the right financial decisions today, tomorrow, and throughout their lives.


31. What is the future of lifelong learning?

When the pandemic began, low-wage workers comprised 43 percent of the U.S. labor force. Today, those same workers account for more than half of those still looking for a job. As a K-shaped recovery threatens to leave vulnerable populations behind, what can we do to help low-wage workers bounce back? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Steve Lee, executive director of the SkillUp Coalition, to explore how upskilling, reskilling, and a renewed commitment to lifelong learning can help level the...