Smart Talk

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.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Could PA schools look northward for ideas?/Recruiting low income, talented students

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 14, 2016 3:31 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, December 14, 2016:

During Pennsylvania's nine-month state budget impasse that ended last March, school districts across the state weren't receiving state funding.  At the height of the crisis, many were borrowing money and more than a few were making plans to close.  One of the districts hardest hit was Erie.  It was the district that probably was closest to shutting down when money dried up from Harrisburg.

Erie is a district surrounded by thriving suburban schools.  It may be a good example of inequity in how Pennsylvania funds its schools.

Just two hours to the north of Erie is the Canadian province of Ontario.  The city of Toronto has schools with student populations comparable socioeconomically with Erie, but the students in the Toronto schools are performing better than Erie. 

Keystone Crossroads education reporter Kevin McCorry is producing a series this week comparing Ontario and Pennsylvania schools.  He'll join us on Wednesday's Smart Talk.

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Kevin McCorry - Education Reporter, Keystone Crossroads

Franklin and Marshall College President Dan Porterfield is leading a historic effort to enroll more low or moderate-income but talented students at thirty of the nation's top universities and colleges.  

The American Talent Initiative, which was announced yesterday, will be funded by an initial $1.7 million grant from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies.  As part of the program, the institutions will collaborate on recruiting and sharing ideas on what works.  

Besides Franklin and Marshall, other participating colleges and universities include Harvard, Princeton, Duke and Stanford.

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Dr. Daniel R. Porterfield - President, Franklin & Marshall College

Dr. Dan Porterfield explains the initiative on Wednesday's Smart Talk. 


on Pennsylvania schools:

- What role does athletics play in Ontario schools?       - Tim

- Are the Ontario teachers unionized?    - Debbie


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