Teachers Address Dropout Crisis at KQED Teacher Town Hall

March 13 event to launch KQED’s American Graduate initiative featuring events, workshops and programming throughout the year

Listen to the Teacher Town Hall Thursday, March 29, at 8pm on KQED 88.5 FM.

San Francisco, California, February 28, 2012 – Only 40 percent of current students will graduate high school in Oakland. KQED, the public media organization that serves Northern California, is leading a diverse team of community partners to increase awareness of this growing crisis. KQED launches its year-long American Graduate initiative with a Teacher Town Hall in Oakland on March 13, 2012, at 5pm for educators who are on the front lines of this national and local issue. The three-hour event features discussions, inspirational speakers, a resource fair, as well as raffles and youth performances and takes place at Laney College Theater (900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA). Popular Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington helms the event which is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended. Please visit kqed.org/americangraduate to get more information about the event and to register.

There are many ways to be a part of this unique event and get an insider's view of the challenges and successes of the Bay Area's hardworking education community. KQED will be live-tweeting on location and the discussions at the event will be live-streamed on the American Graduate page. KQED will also create a webextra video with interviews and footage shot at the Teacher Town Hall and in the Oakland Unified School District. It will be available around 2 weeks after the event. KQED Public Radio will also air selections on Thursday, March 29, at 8pm on KQED 88.5 FM.

Press is invited to attend the event and interview opportunities are available with teacher panelists and host committee members. Please contact Publicist Evren Odcikin at evren@kqed.org to RSVP and to make interview requests. The host committee for the event includes KQED President John Boland, Oakland’s Promise Alliance Director Nyeisha Dewitt, Laney College President Elnora Webb and Glynn Washington.


“Every year, one million of our nation’s young people make the life altering decision to drop out of school resulting in severe consequences for their future and our country,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).  “Through the American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen initiative, America’s public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are engaging local non-profit partners, business leaders, parents and teachers to help young people stay on the path to a high school diploma.”

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has launched American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen — a national initiative to help combat the dropout crisis in this country. KQED is one of the 20 public radio and television stations around the country selected to convene a community of local media, education, civic and corporate organizations. KQED aims to create a better understanding of the dropout crisis in the Bay Area with a focus on Oakland, and to implement plans that positively impact the situation.

The Teacher Town Hall event on March 13 is just the beginning of KQED’s commitment to increase awareness of the dropout crisis in the Bay Area. Working with a diverse team of community partners, including Oakland’s Promise Alliance, East Bay Green Corridor/I-SEEED, ConnectEd The California Center for College and Career, Bay Area Video Coalition, Holy Name University, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, OUSD, Laney College and Oakland Community Organizations, KQED has developed a four-prong approach to address this important issue:

  • KQED, in partnership with organizations around the Bay Area, will produce a series of events for businesses, youth and teachers to address the dropout issue, culminating in a “Back to School Rally and School Supply Giveaway” on the steps of Oakland City Hall in August 2012.
  • Working with the Oakland Unified School District and community partners, KQED will offer professional development training workshops for educators with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning and youth engagement.
  • KQED will continue to create and distribute local multi-platform news and public affairs content to raise awareness of the dropout crisis and its impact on our communities. This content will join KQED’s wealth of coverage on educational issues on such programs as Forum, The California Report and Perspectives on KQED Public Radio, This Week in Northern California on KQED Public Television and the popular education blog MindShift at mindshift.kqed.org.
  • KQED, in association with Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) will provide media training and content creation experience for at-risk youth to highlight their voices in the local and national conversation surrounding the dropout issue. The videos and songs they create will be shared through KQED’s multiple platforms.

For more information on all of these programs, check KQED’s American Graduate blog regularly at kqed.org/americangraduate.

About KQED:
KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area) and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5 FM San Francisco and 89.3 FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms kqed.org and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin. KQED’s digital television stations include KQED 9, KQED Plus, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local weekday newscasts and news features. KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service, KQEDnews.org, as well as several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts and a live radio stream at kqed.org. KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources.


About American Graduate
The public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, is helping communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the multi-year campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local multiplatform programming.  Targeting communities with highest dropout rates, the initiative also increases local engagement and action through collaborations and partnerships, and increases student engagement through teacher professional development and classroom curricula. Public radio and television stations – locally owned and operated – reach 99% of the country over the air, have built models for successful intervention in early learning, and have deep connections in the communities they serve. Nearly 300 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate and CPB is partnering with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  AmericanGraduate.org