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APM Reports Documentaries Podcast

APM Reports Documentaries Podcast

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The documentary unit of APM Reports (formerly American RadioWorks) has produced more than 140 programs on topics such as health, history, education and justice.

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  • Ethics Be Damned, Part 2
    Mon, Mar 19, 2018

    It all started with a fur coat and an expensive rug. It ended with the resignation of President Eisenhower's chief of staff. That incident led to the government ethics system of today. In the second installment of our series, APM Reports investigative journalist Tom Scheck joins Lizzie O'Leary of Marketplace Weekend to discuss the history of U.S. ethics rules, and the complicated financial holdings of current Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. To read Tom's full investigation, visit

  • Ethics Be Damned, Part 1
    Mon, Mar 19, 2018

    More than half of Trump's 20-person Cabinet has engaged in questionable or unethical conduct since taking office. The nation's top ethics official says "these are perilous times." In the first installment of "Ethics Be Damned," APM Reports investigative journalist Tom Scheck joins Lizzie O'Leary of Marketplace Weekend to discuss whether the federal ethics system is broken. To read Tom's full investigation, visit

  • Ethics Be Damned, Part 3
    Mon, Mar 19, 2018

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a major investor in Neurocore, a company based in Michigan that claims to help kids with various attention deficit disorders. Since taking office, she's kept her stake in the company and invested even more money in it. In the third and final installment of "Ethics Be Damned," APM Reports investigative journalist Tom Scheck joins Lizzie O'Leary of Marketplace Weekend to parse DeVos' potential conflicts of interest. Plus, what happens if watchdog groups use ethics as a political weapon? To read Tom's full investigation, visit

  • Hard to Read: How American Schools Fail Kids with Dyslexia
    Mon, Sep 11, 2017

    Public schools are denying children with dyslexia proper treatment and often failing to identify them in the first place.

  • Historically Black, Part 3
    Fri, Feb 17, 2017

    The Question of Black Identity, Black Love Stories

  • Historically Black, Part 2
    Fri, Feb 10, 2017

    Tracking Down a Slave's Bill of Sale, The Path to Founding an HBCU, The Fiddler who Charmed Missouri

  • Historically Black, Part 1
    Fri, Feb 03, 2017

    NASA's Human Computers, Harlem Through James Van Der Zee's Lens, The Spirit of the Million Man March

  • Shadow Class: College Dreamers in Trump's America
    Fri, Sep 08, 2017

    President Trump is ending DACA, which allowed some 800,000 undocumented young people to stay and work in the United States. For some, that may mean the end of a dream of going to college.This program profiles DACA students and their opponents and examines a key court case and political forces that led to this moment.

  • Shackled Legacy: Universities and the Slave Trade
    Mon, Sep 04, 2017

    A growing number of colleges and universities in the eastern United States are confronting their historic ties to the slave trade. Profits from slavery and related industries helped build some of the most prestigious schools in New England. In many southern states, enslaved people built and maintained college campuses.

  • Keeping Teachers
    Mon, Aug 28, 2017

    There may be nothing more important in the educational life of a child than having effective teachers. But the United States is struggling to attract and keep teachers.

  • Rewriting the Sentence: College Behind Bars
    Thu, Sep 08, 2016

    After an abrupt reversal 20 years ago, some prisons and colleges try to maintain college education for prisoners.

  • What It Takes: Chasing Graduation at High-Poverty High Schools
    Thu, Sep 01, 2016

    The nation's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but high-poverty schools face a stubborn challenge. Schools in Miami and Pasadena are trying to do things differently.

  • Spare the Rod: Reforming School Discipline
    Thu, Aug 25, 2016

    A get-tough attitude prevailed among educators in the 1980s and 1990s, but research shows that zero-tolerance policies don't make schools safer and lead to disproportionate discipline for students of color.

  • Stuck at Square One: The Remedial Education Trap
    Wed, Aug 17, 2016

    A system meant to give college-bound students a better shot at succeeding is actually getting in the way of many, costing them time and money and taking a particular toll on students of color.

  • Going to college in prison
    Thu, Jul 07, 2016

  • Thirsty Planet
    Thu, May 12, 2016

    Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water ? either too much or too little.

  • Bought and Sold: The New Fight Against Teen Sex Trafficking
    Thu, May 12, 2016

    Advocates for kids are pushing for a new approach to combating underage prostitution: treating young people caught up in sex trafficking as victims, not delinquents.

  • Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools
    Thu, Sep 10, 2015

    This documentary explores the "Expeditionary Learning" approach, traces the history of ideas that led to its inception, and investigates what American schools could learn from its success.

  • From Boots to Books: Student Veterans and the New GI Bill
    Thu, Sep 03, 2015

    The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives.

  • Teaching Teachers
    Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    Research shows good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they're on the job.

  • The Living Legacy: Black Colleges in the 21st Century
    Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    Before the civil rights movement, African Americans were largely barred from white-dominated institutions of higher education. And so black Americans, and their white supporters, founded their own schools, which came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

  • The First Family of Radio: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's Historic Broadcasts
    Thu, Nov 13, 2014

    When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, he and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt both used the new medium of radio to reach into American homes like never before.

  • Ready to Work: Reviving Vocational Ed
    Thu, Sep 11, 2014

    Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education.

  • The New Face of College
    Thu, Sep 04, 2014

    Just 20 percent of college-goers fit the stereotype of being young, single, full-time students who finish a degree in four years. College students today are more likely to be older, part-time, working, and low-income than they were three decades ago.

  • Greater Expectations: The Challenge of the Common Core
    Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school.

  • The Science of Smart
    Thu, Aug 21, 2014

    Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better.

  • Second-Chance Diploma: Examining the GED
    Sun, Sep 01, 2013

    Most test-takers hope the GED will lead to a better job or more education. But critics say the GED encourages some students to drop out of school. And research shows the credential is of little value to most people who get one.

  • One Child at a Time: Custom Learning in the Digital Age
    Thu, Aug 01, 2013

    Learning with a personal tutor is one of the oldest and best ways to learn. Hiring a tutor for every student was never a realistic option. Now, new computer programs can customize education for each child.

  • Keyboard College: How Technology is Revolutionizing Higher Education
    Thu, Sep 13, 2012

    Digital technologies and the Internet are changing how many Americans go to college. From online learning to simulation programs to smart-machine mentors, the 21st-century student will be taught in fundamentally new ways.

  • The Rise of Phoenix: For-Profit Universities Shake Up the Academy
    Thu, Sep 06, 2012

    For-profit colleges have deep roots in American history, but until recently they were a tiny part of the higher education landscape. Now they are big players.

  • Grit, Luck and Money: Preparing Kids for College and Getting Them Through
    Thu, Aug 30, 2012

    More people are going to college than ever before, but a lot of them aren't finishing. Low-income students, in particular, struggle to get to graduation.

  • Don't Lecture Me: Rethinking the Way College Students Learn
    Sat, Sep 03, 2011

    College students spend a lot of time listening to lectures. But research shows there are better ways to learn. And experts say students need to learn better because the 21st century economy demands more well-educated workers.

  • Who Needs an English Major?
    Thu, Sep 01, 2011

    The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal arts programs say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education.

  • Some College, No Degree: Getting Adults Back to School
    Fri, Aug 12, 2011

    In an economy that increasingly demands workers with knowledge and skills, many college dropouts are being left behind.

  • Power and Smoke: A Nation Built on Coal
    Sat, Feb 12, 2011

    The production of electricity in America pumps out more greenhouse gases than all of our cars, trucks, planes, and ships combined, and half of our electricity comes from burning coal.

  • Back of the Bus: Mass Transit, Race and Inequality
    Wed, Jan 12, 2011

    Equal access to transportation was once a central issue of the Civil Rights Movement. But today, disparities still persist.

  • State of Siege: Mississippi Whites and the Civil Rights Movement
    Sat, Jan 08, 2011

    Mississippi led the South in an extraordinary battle to maintain racial segregation. Whites set up powerful citizens groups and state agencies to fight the civil rights movement. Their tactics were fierce and, for a time, very effective.

  • Say It Loud: A Century of Great African-American Speeches
    Sat, Jan 01, 2011

    Titled after the classic 1969 James Brown anthem, "Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," this anthology illuminates the ideas and debates pulsing through the black freedom struggle from the 1960s to the present. These arguments are suffused with basic questions about what it means to be black in America.

  • Say It Plain: A Century of Great African-American Speeches
    Sat, Jan 01, 2011

    Spanning the 20th century, this collection is a vivid account of how African Americans sounded the charge against racial injustice, exhorting the country to live up to its democratic principles.

  • Testing Teachers
    Thu, Aug 12, 2010

    Teachers matter. A lot. Studies show that students with the best teachers learn three times as much as students with the worst teachers. Researchers say the achievement gap between poor children and their higher-income peers could disappear if poor kids got better teachers.

  • War on Poverty
    Sat, Jun 12, 2010

    When Lyndon B. Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he put the power of his presidency behind a remarkable series of reform initiatives. The legislation was geared toward boosting economic opportunity, a theme captured by his administration's catchphrase, the Great Society.

  • The Great Textbook War
    Tue, Jun 01, 2010

    What should children learn in school? It's a question that's stirred debate for decades, and in 1974 it led to violent protests in West Virginia. Schools were hit by dynamite, buses were riddled with bullets, and coal mines were shut down. The fight was over a new set of textbooks.

  • Workplace U
    Thu, Nov 12, 2009

    A new movement turns conventional wisdom on its head, and makes a job the ticket to an education. The idea is to turn workplaces into classrooms and marginal students into productive workers.

  • Rising By Degrees
    Sun, Nov 01, 2009

    The United States is facing a dramatic demographic challenge: Young Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the population, and they are the least likely to graduate from college.

  • Early Lessons
    Mon, Oct 12, 2009

    The Perry Preschool Project is one of the most famous education experiments of the last 50 years. The study asked a question: Can preschool boost the IQ scores of poor African-American children and prevent them from failing in school?

  • Bridge to Somewhere
    Tue, May 12, 2009

    President Barack Obama wants to create jobs by building infrastructure. So did another president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to put people to work by building roads, bridges, dams, sewers, schools, hospitals and even ski jumps. The structures that New Deal agencies built transformed America.

  • A Better Life: Creating the American Dream
    Fri, May 01, 2009

    The "American dream" has powered the hopes and aspirations of Americans for generations. But what exactly is the American dream? How did we come to define it? And is it changing?

  • Hard Times in Middletown
    Sun, Apr 12, 2009

    For almost a century, Muncie, Indiana has been known as "Middletown," the quintessential American community. But now, as the rust-belt city grapples with deepening recession, many residents are losing their hold on the middle class.

  • Foreclosure City
    Wed, Apr 01, 2009

    Until recently, Las Vegas was one of the few places where the American Dream still seemed widely possible. Each month, thousands of people flocked there, lured by the promise of good jobs and a chance to own a home. It was the fastest growing city in the country. But now, Las Vegas has a new distinction: the nation's highest foreclosure rate.

  • Campaign '68
    Sun, Oct 12, 2008

    The 1968 presidential election was a watershed in American politics. After dominating the political landscape for more than a generation, the Democratic Party crumbled. Richard M. Nixon was elected president and a new era of Republican conservatism was born.

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    • Product ID: A090965