Learning Matters on Annenberg Channel

Stream many our older programs once featured on the Annenberg Media Channel. Great for use in classrooms or as teaching resources. Includes most of our programs from 1990 to 2003.
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Education’s Big Gamble: Charter Schools
Today more than 600 charter schools are serving over 105,000 students. This program visits four of them and documents the highs and lows of the charter school movement. (1997)

The Fifty Million Dollar Gamble - Part 1 / Part 2
Details the slow progress of school reform as illustrated by Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools, recipient of a $50 million grant from philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg. (1994)

In Schools We Trust
Analyzes the 150-year record of public education since the first free one-room schools were created in the 1840s. Historic events are considered as part of educational history, including the launch of Sputnik and LBJ’s War on Poverty. (1996)

Inside School Boards
A look at what school boards really do. (1991)

Mr. Riley’s Neighborhood
A day in the life of President Clinton’s Secretary of Education, Richard Riley. (1993)

Saving the Arts
How national leadership, teamed with grassroots support, worked to put arts education back into schools. (1994)

School Crusade: The Reality
Chronicles the Philadelphia Public School System’s attempt to turn itself around with radical change and an untested superintendent, David Hornbeck. With a 10-point program, Hornbeck takes on the bureaucracy, the city’s politicians, and teachers. (1997)

Attention Deficit Disorder: A Dubious Diagnosis
This award-winning investigation of the ADD “epidemic,” documents its roots and reveals that is it largely man-made. (1995)

Elementary Confusion
A sequel to “Early Learning,” this program returns to two of the schools to find out how those same children had fared. One school saw a 50 percent student turnover rate while another was closed despite solid academic achievement. (1997)

Failing Forward
Reveals how social promotion largely affects minority students, and includes special reports on bilingual education and a history of report cards. (1992)

Healthy Children, Healthy Learning
Visits the best and worst of school-based clinics, looking at programs from immunization, to contraception, to AIDS treatment. (1993)

Preventing Dropouts - Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
Programs in New York, Memphis, and Los Angeles prevent students from dropping out by bringing out their best. (1991)

Starting Over
Examines how education can help adults retrain for new careers. (1993)

Testing . . . Testing . . . Testing
Poses 12 provocative questions covering the complex and controversial issues of measuring learning, achievement, and intelligence in children. Six test writers, critics, and professors provide answers and address concerns about testing in public schools. (1997)

What’s So Special About Special Education?
Examines the policy of “inclusion” and looks at the history and efficacy of special education for disabled children. (1996)

Getting Into College: The Inside Story
A revealing look at one college’s admissions process, from recruitment to application selection. (1990, 30 min.)

Is College Worth It?
Looks at who is going to college, who is teaching, why it costs so much, and how you get in. (1993)

Caught in the Crossfire
This award-winning program goes inside a New York City housingproject to show the root causes of violence and the toll it takes on American youth. (1993)

It’s Your Money
Compares the vastly varying conditions in schools from one community to the next and examines the ongoing legal fight over how school funds are spent. (1995)

Learning Everywhere
Introduces participants in nontraditional education programs, including prison inmates who are struggling to read, and disabled people using technology to become self-supporting. (1993)

Parents and Children
Four experts present ways parents can help their children learn more and do better in school and in life. (1991)

The Search for Values
Examines whether schools have cleansed their curriculum of controversy and religious references and whether they can withstand the battle with opponents who want them to teach their particular values. (1994)

Living with AIDS and Teaching
A woman who transmitted AIDS to her baby daughter resolves to spend the remainder of her life teaching adolescents about AIDS. A tragic story with a powerful lesson. (1991)

Teaching: The First Year
Follows the first year for elementary, middle, and high school teachers and shows how inadequate supervision hinders their professional development. (1993)

Computers and Schools
Profiles the use of computers at Cincinnati Country Day School. (1990)

Promises, Promises
In many cases, educational technology has failed to live upto its promise. This program shows what schools can do tocatch up to society in technology use, and highlights the obstacles they face. (1995)

Sesame Street
Dr. Gerald Lesser, the intellectual father of Sesame Street, shares stories from its early years. (1990)

Unraveling the Multimedia Mystery
Media guru Fred D’Ignazio shows how much more children learn when technology is harnessed for that purpose. (1990)

Lost in Translation: Latinos, Schools and Society
Examines the future of Latino youth, the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. (1998)

Growing Up in the City - Part 1
Tackles the pressures that adolescents face today, including influences from their families, school, the media, and popular culture. (1999)

Growing Up in the City - Part 2: Discovering Race
Looks at the ways in which race becomes an issue in the lives of four adolescents - Russian, Hispanic, and African American boys, and a Caucasian girl. (1999)

Growing Up in the City - Part 3: Family Portraits
Visits the homes of five adolescents and their parents, who are dealing with the anxieties and pressures of raising children that all parents face. (1999)

A Tale of Three Cities: The Mayor, The Minister and The General
A look at student performance in math and reading. (1999)

In the Spotlight: Linda Darling-Hammond on Teacher Training
John Merrow interviews Linda Darling-Hammond, executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, professor of education at Stanford University. With additional comments from Chester Finn, the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. (2001)

In the Spotlight: Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. on Higher Standards in our Schools
John Merrow interviews Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., chairman and CEO of IBM. (2001)

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Making the Grade: A 6-Part Series

Making the Grade: First Day of School
Rookie teachers enrolled in the Teaching Fellows program in the New York City public schools experience the ups and downs of teaching in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. This program: With nervous excitement, the new teachers prepare their rooms for Day One of school. After a few rough starts, the Teaching Fellows find they are already exhausted. (2001, 15 mins)

Making the Grade: Learning the Ropes
Rookie teachers enrolled in the Teaching Fellows program in the New York City public schools experience the ups and downs of teaching in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. This program: Even though the Teaching Fellows are gaining a sense of mastery and control in their classrooms, they are still attending classes on classroom management and techniques. The principal gives a thumbnail evaluation of each teacher. (2001, 15 mins)

Making the Grade: Frustrations and Accomplishments
Rookie teachers enrolled in the Teaching Fellows program in the New York City public schools experience the ups and downs of teaching in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. This program: One new teacher quits. Another gets slapped in the face. Others learn that classroom management techniques are not as easy as they thought. (2001, 15 mins)

Making the Grade: Challenges Continue
Rookie teachers enrolled in the Teaching Fellows program in the New York City public schools experience the ups and downs of teaching in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. This program: What the teachers learn in their continuing training at Brooklyn College is sometimes reflected in their various teaching styles. (2001, 15 mins)

Making the Grade: Preparing for High Stakes Tests
Rookie teachers enrolled in the Teaching Fellows program in the New York City public schools experience the ups and downs of teaching in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. This program: Curriculum-based learning comes to a halt as the entire school - including the Spanish, music, and phys-ed teachers - prepare for state and city tests. “Teaching to the test” is the motto. (2001, 15 mins)

Making the Grade: Last Day of School
Rookie teachers enrolled in the Teaching Fellows program in the New York City public schools experience the ups and downs of teaching in one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. This program: A flurry of
end-of-school-year activities include a trip to the zoo, an award ceremony, and saying good bye. (2001, 15 mins)

Testing Our Schools
Can standardized achievement tests really measure the quality of a schoo? How does intense pressure to raise test scores affect the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom? In interviews with educators, policymakers, and testing experts, John Merrow reports on recent developments in Virginia, California, and Massachusetts, and explores the debate over whether our reliance on standardized tests - and our
faith in test scores - could do more harm than good for the nation’s students and schools. (2003)

Young Scientists
This program focuses on several high school science classes training to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (formerly the Westinghouse Awards). It follows the highly motivated competitors and their teachers through the ups and downs and pressure of the competition. It also looks at the broader picture: the critical shortage of well-trained workers to fill the estimated two million new science and engineering jobs by the end of the decade. (2003)

Teachers Wanted: No Experience Necessary
A follow-up program to the Making the Grade segments, this documentary revisits the four rookie teachers in the New York City public schools through their first year. These individuals had no prior classroom experience and seven weeks of summer training. It asks the tough questions: Is it possible to learn on the job and be an effective teacher? Is teacher on-the-job training fair to
students? (2003)

Promise of Preschool
John Merrow travels in the U.S. and abroad to see where preschools are working and not working—and why—for children and parents from all economic levels of society. (2003)

Public Schools, Inc.
Ten years after “edupreneur” Chris Whittle first announced his bold plan to revolutionize the way we educate our children, Whittle’s Edison Schools continue to be a lightning rod for the issue of for-profit, public education. FRONTLINE and The Merrow Report join forces with The New York Times to investigate the intertwined fortunes of Edison Schools and its charismatic yet controversial leader, and examine whether it’s possible to create world-class schools that turn a profit. (2003)

First to Worst
The public schools of California were once the envy of the nation. Today, many of California’s schools are over-crowded, the facilities dilapidated, test scores abysmal. Per-pupil funding is the fourth lowest in the nation. What happened? This program explores the social, political, and economic forces that led to the decline of the golden state’s power-house public education system, how the state is pulling itself back up, and the lessons our country can learn from California’s difficult journey. (2003)

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