APM Reports’ Educate to Release Three New Audio Documentaries on Education in America

New documentaries feature COVID-19 effects on higher education and new reading education reporting by Emily Hanford

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 22, 2020 — APM Reports, the documentary and investigative unit of American Public Media, is releasing three new stories in its Educate series that will examine the latest challenges in education, starting July 29.

Covid on Campus,” this year’s premiere documentary in Educate, covers the threat coronavirus poses to institutions of higher education. Producers Sasha Aslanian and Stephen Smith explore how the economic, social and health pressures created by the COVID-19 virus disproportionately impact students of color and those from disadvantaged communities. This hour-long special will look at the broader issues of equity and change in higher education provoked by the pandemic. “Covid on Campus will debut on July 29.  

In the second story of the Educate series, acclaimed education reporter Emily Hanford returns with continued reporting on the science behind reading comprehension and why many American children develop poor reading skills. In her new documentary “What the Words Say,” Hanford explores the link between poverty and reading achievement. She takes listeners to a juvenile detention center in Texas, where 40 to 50 percent of the incarcerated youth struggle to read. Hanford also speaks with a Nashville school district mother who has been fighting for years to get her son proper reading instruction. This new reporting is an expansion of Hanford’s prior work on how kids learn to read. Previously, Hanford investigated why kids with dyslexia did not receive adequate help, why more than half of U.S. fourth graders didn’t test proficiently in reading and why many schools’ reading curriculum were not aligned with the scientific findings on how to read. “What the Words Say comes out August 6. 

The final documentary from Educate examines the racial climate on college campuses in Black at Mizzou.” Across the country, most college and university presidents rate the racial climate on their campus as “good” or “excellent,” but many students of color have a far different opinion. This documentary centers on the Black student experience at the University of Missouri, and the racist incidents that brought the campus to widespread protests and national attention in 2015. It will focus on how Black students created their own spaces inside the university. Black at Mizzou will be released on August 14 and is funded by the Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity.

Listeners can subscribe and listen to these audio documentaries on the Educate podcast. The stories will also air on public radio stations across the country and available for streaming on apmreports.org. Follow APM Reports on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed.


About American Public Media

American Public Media® (APM) is the national programming and distribution division of American Public Media Group and reaches 19 million listeners via approximately 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio that includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programs in the nation. APM offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business and investigative journalism. For more information on APM, visit americanpublicmedia.orgSource: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio. Data are estimates only.

About APM Reports
APM Reports, formed in November 2015, is a collection of investigative journalists and documentary producers, editors, data reporters, researchers and digital producers dedicated to producing high-quality reporting on issues that are often hidden from public view. At the heart of every APM Reports investigation lies a critical question — about powerful institutions and people, injustice and accountability – that deserves an unflinching commitment to finding answers in the public’s best interest. Visit apmreports.org for more.