1/29/08 Marc’s thoughts on today’s show

PAYING KIDS TO DO WELL

Dr. Andres Alonso at noon

Paying kids to do well on tests?!?!?!?!?!?!?

My first visceral reaction was no way.  This is antithetical to what we all believe, that we should instill an intrinsic love of education. 

Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, is going to spend a million dollars, in part to pay kids in the 11th and 12th grade who failed one of the High School Assessment tests, if they improve their scores on future tests.   They will receive up to $110.00, depending on how much their scores improve.  Money will also be used to pay students to tutor other students.

Some would argue, like Dan Rodricks, that middle and upper class families always bribe their kids with cash, dinner and objects of desire if they do well in school.  What is wrong with the city doing it for unmotivated kids also mired in poverty?

Others argue it is a quick fix and a bribe that hides real issue of why students don’t have an intrinsic love of learning and why they lose in our schools.

Is it a bad idea?  Looking forward to hearing what Dr. Alonso has to say.  Looking forward to what you have to say on air and on our blog.

 BANISHED

I was not amazed when I first heard that there was wholesale ethnic cleansing of African Americans from towns across America.  I was shocked when I found out that it occurred well into the depression era of the 1930’s.

One of our guests, Marco Williams, recently made the movie Banished.  It’s about the interactions of three Black families, who were descendents of the banished, and white people now living in those towns.  

The issue of the day will be to find out what relevance this has on our lives now.  The Germans paid reparations to the Jews who survived the camps, the US paid reparations to the Japanese Americans and the descendents of those interned in camps during World War II.  Should the US do the same for those who are the descendents of those African Americans ethnically cleansed from their homes?

Is it different because these are descendents of rather than the victims themselves?  Is monetary reparation the only possibility?  Does this give us as a society a chance for some reconciliation?  Is it just history, something for us to learn about and then let go?

What do you think?  Call in or write in at one, or comment on the blog.
Check with you later.

-Marc

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11/20/07 Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore

 

Today, local author, Goucher professor, and friend Madison Smartt Bell is joining us to discuss his new book Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore.  The book is what it sounds like; the author takes us on a walk through Baltimore, pointing out the important cultural, historical, and social points of interest along the way.  He visits typical Baltimore tourist spots like the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, but also goes to places off the tourist track, like the vibrant Greenmount Avenue and Greenmount Cemetery. 

 Producer Justin went out with him last week and captured the sounds of some of these spots…we’ll be playing those on the air today while we talk with Madison.  So join us with your comments, questions, and stories of your favorite parts of the city!

-Jessica

10/11/07 Voices of Lombard Street

Lombard Street, back in the day

 

Lots of people pitch show ideas to us all of the time.  Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not, but we only have so many hours in a week, and we could never get to them all even if we wanted to.

The idea for his hour’s show came to us from the Jewish Museum of Maryland, who want to promote a new exhibit they have opening on Sunday.  In general, if someone is pitching an idea that is a thinly vailed promotion, I would politely decline.  In this case, however, I realized this idea had some great potential for us.

The exhibit is called “Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore.”  The idea of actually bringing together a group of people with deep roots in one neighborhood, so that we could explore the history of the neighborhood from a personal level, is what really appealed to me in putting this hour together.  In a place like Baltimore, the combination of neighborhood histories and personal stories always makes for something interesting.

If you, or someone in your family, grew up around East Lombard Street, have memories of the area at different times, or live there today, we’d love to hear from you.  As always, you can call or email while we’re on the air at 1pm today, and also leave your stories here.

We’re thinking about adding a new segment on the air in which we’ll read emails and blog posts from listeners reflecting on shows that have already aired either later in the week or the following week.  So, don’t hesitate to keep writing after each show.

Go here to see more pictures!

-Justin