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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on witf’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Hosted by: Scott LaMar



Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Matt Paul and witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.

Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



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RST: First Lady Susan Corbett on preventing dropouts and the arts

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 16, 2013 3:34 PM
Gov and mrs. corbett gettysburg 300 x 170.jpg

Gov. Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett in Gettysburg July 1.

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, July 17:

Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett appears on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk to discuss her role and the causes and campaigns she leads or is involved in.

They include what is perhaps her most significant project -- the Opening Doors initiative that is designed to prevent students from dropping out of the school.   Mrs. Corbett, who taught English at Northern Lebanon High School in Lebanon County, hosted an education and dropout prevention forum at the Governor's Residence last year.  Several key dropout prevent focuses emerged including identifying at-risk middle school students, keeping at-risk students on track to graduate, and the economic impact of dropping out of the school.

Mrs. Corbett will address what she has called the state's dropout crisis.

Susan Corbett is also Chair of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Pennsylvania's "First Tourist" to showcase the state's sites and attractions, and is involved in historic preservation.

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First Lady Susan Corbett

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Comments: 5

  • John Orris img 2013-07-17 08:10

    Could the problem of people dropping out be that they don't see a future as long as politicians continue to sell out to the corporations.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-17 08:18

    Email from Dave in Red Lion

    Okay, should there be a fox news type radio station, that she should be on, instead of a forward thinking venue such as this.
    A place where people can be shovel fed contradicting bias such as today's topic, while we less forget what her husband and fellow law makers (and charter school) people gave done to PA education.

    Sure throwing money at something isn't always the solution, but then again strangling something to death isn't the answer either.
    While this person here of privilege speaks of arts Abd (in) education, think about what real kids are going through rite (right) now (no gym,arts,music,etc) and probably poor a/c.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-17 08:51

    Email from Ann

    Please consider adding support to the researched and proven program, Reading Recovery, that helps first graders from the bottom of their first grade classes, and provides one on one instruction for 12-20 weeks, for 30 minutes daily. The great majority of these students are able to reach average or better reading levels and can achieve without remedial help.

    The program trains teachers with a year long six credit program, taken after the school day is over. These trained Reading Recovery teachers become better classroom teachers, able to diagnose student strengths as well as needs. The Teacher Leader ( who works for her/his own school district and leads each local Reading Recovery program) provides inservice for elementary classroom teachers, helping them use data wisely to promote more learning.

    I'm sure your new head of Education is familiar with Reading Recovery, as it was successfully used in Cumberland Valley School District as well as many other Pennsylvania districts. State support is needed to encourage districts to adopt and continue this program.

    Thank you for your support and interest in education.

  • Dale img 2013-07-17 09:02

    Thanks Scott for putting the tough question to Mrs. Corbett about the discrepancy between her—I’ll use her word—“interest” in at-risk students and the detriment caused by her husband’s policy towards education. The sizeable cutbacks in funding have resulted in layoffs statewide that often double the work for those who remain, and you don’t need a PhD in mathematics to know how that might add up to affect the quality of education. While the cutbacks in education were touted as necessary, it’s interesting how the Governor was able to manage increased spending for his ‘passion,’ law enforcement. If, indeed, this is Mrs. Corbett’s passion, I imagine dinner table conversation is quite interesting at the mansion?

  • Michael img 2013-07-17 09:34

    ....and the Corbetts kick of their reelection campaign with an infomercial on WITF.....sweet deal!

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