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

School Testing Reductions / The Trail of Heroin

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Sep 19, 2017 8:00 PM
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On the Wednesday, September 20th 2017 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

Last month, Governor Wolf announced a reduction in standardized testing for grades three through eight.  Test lengths would be reduced by 20 percent to de-emphasize the amount of classroom time devoted to test preparation.

Wolf touted the effort, with the support of the state's Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera, during a visit to Susquehanna Middle School in Dauphin County, saying "This reduction will ease the stress placed on our kids, and will allow students and teachers to focus more on learning than on testing. This change should also reassure parents that we've listened to their concerns about over-testing."

Smart Talk will examine the efficacy of these tests and the role they play in funding the state's schools.  We'll speak with Delores McCracken, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and Dr. Robert Hollister, Superintendent of the Eastern Lancaster School /Columbia Borough districts about testing. 


Delores McCracken - President, Pennsylvania State Education Association / Dr. Robert Hollister - Superintendent, Eastern Lancaster School /Columbia Borough districts

Also, Lancaster native Michael Deibert has spent years writing about the humanity among some of the most devastated regions on the globe.  From the civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the political corruption in Haiti to the cartel-controlled states in Mexico, Deibert has reported for The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, BBC and NPR.  He is the author of The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair; In the Shadow of Saint Death: The Gulf Cartel and the Price of America's Drug War in Mexico and Haiti Will Not Perish: A Recent History.

Deibert recently joined the LNP as a staff writer, he will join Smart Talk to discuss his recent piece, "How a glut of cheap, powerful heroin grown in Mexico is delivered more than 2,000 miles to Lancaster County" which tracks the heroin plaguing the region back to its source.

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Michael Deibert - Staff Writer, LNP



- My wife is a special needs teacher, who's performance and compensation is reflected on these kinds of tests - how ridiculous is this?  - Steve, Lancaster

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