Thursday, May 5, 2011

Patt Morrison for Friday, May 6, 2011


Friday, May 6, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:39





1:41:30 – 1:58:30

After all of the budget cuts, can UC Berkeley still be the nation’s premiere public university?

UC Berkeley is arguably the most prestigious and accomplished public university in the world, the vanguard of the UC system and a research powerhouse.  Berkeley has also been asked the shoulder the largest percentage of budget cuts as California seeks to close a $26 billion deficit—of the $500 million cut from the UC system, Berkeley’s share will be nearly $81 million.  Combine that with the cuts made to the system over the past few years and one must inevitably ask if UC Berkeley can maintain its status as a premiere public university.  According to Berkeley’s chancellor, the answer is yes, but with a few caveats.  More out of state students must be accepted to the system to offset the cuts (but that might be a good thing for the culture and academics of Berkeley); research labs will have to get leaner and meaner (something that should benefit the university long term); and students might have to pay higher tuition in exchange for more financial aid (something that might squeeze out the middle class).  We look at the future of UC Berkeley and the entire UC system with the man right in the thick of it.



Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of UC Berkeley; professor of physics, material science & engineering





2:06 – 2:19

Are teachers unions the biggest obstacles to, or biggest proponents of education reform?

In “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary about public education, teachers unions were largely portrayed as the villains in the soap opera that is American education.  The Cruella de Vil of the film is Randi Weingarten, president of the powerful American Federation of Teachers, who is shown speaking out against several education reform measures, including teacher evaluations.  Even as they are vilified and attacked as obstacles to change, teachers unions continue to wield political and social influence—Ms. Weingarten’s AFT was instrumental in forcing out Adrian Fenty, the former mayor of Washington D.C. who lost his reelection bid after working closely with aggressive school reformer Michelle Rhee.  Teachers unions seem to be coming around to the inevitability of some changes and have been increasingly working with school districts on reforms in the classrooms and the much maligned teacher assessments.  What will ultimately be the role of teachers and their unions in changing the way American public education operates?



Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers





2:21:30 – 2:39

The next phase of education reform in America

From President Obama and Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top, to alternative plans from private business, labor leaders, and nonprofit groups like the Gates Foundation, there are plenty of solutions on the table for how to fix the country’s broken public education system. But who should be held accountable? Parents and politicians point to teachers; teachers point to administrators and politicians—but who should ultimately be responsible for student success and how should those results be evaluated? How can we restructure the teaching profession to attract the most highly educated and skilled applicants? What initiatives, both public and private, are succeeding in retaining the most talented teachers? Can there be consensus and collaboration between teachers’ unions and school districts on reaching shared goals? Patt sits down with two major leaders in the education reform conversation for their thoughts.



Allan Golston, president of the U.S. Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading its efforts to reduce inequities and increase access to opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged students



Adrian Fenty, former mayor of the District of Columbia., where he gained national attention for his focus on restructuring public school governance with D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee




2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Nerve: nothing to fear but having nothing to fear

Nerves—they’re why we can’t stand public speaking, can’t sleep before the SAT’s, and can’t seem to speak English around a romantic crush. What’s going on in our brain that makes us sweat, stutter, and jitter in these situations? Taylor Clark asks this question in his new book Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool. Clark traverses the findings of stress studies throughout the years, exploring subjects ranging from Russian sub commanders to game-show contestants to tsunami survivors. What he comes up with is the conclusion that fear is useful, and we should not avoid it. In an era when anxiety is the most prominent mental health issue in the U.S., what can we do to reduce stress and face our fears head-on? How do we play it cool and, as Clark puts it, perform with “poise under pressure and serenity under stress”?


Taylor Clark, author of “Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture” and most recently of “Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool”



Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
Southern California Public Radio
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