graduation

Bill Owens: Graduation Speeches

Jun 23, 2015

This is the season for graduation speeches.  Looking at clips on TV of some of those speeches, I saw humor, guitar playing, famous people giving speeches, not so famous people giving speeches, inappropriate statements being made by a certain actor, in my view, all of which brought a question to mind.  Having given a few commencement speeches during my term in Congress, and most recently giving the commencement speech at SUNY Canton in early May, I wonder what the graduates and parents are thinking as they listen to these speeches.  Are they entertained?  Did they learn anything? More importantly, do they even remember?  Having attended my undergraduate and graduate commencement programs, and multiple graduation ceremonies for my children, I have no recollection who any of the speakers were except when John Lewis, a Congressional colleague spoke at my son’s graduation from Law School.  I wonder if my children do?  That is not to say that the speakers weren’t interesting and entertaining people, but most of us had other things on our mind.  Relief, exhilaration, a bank account that was going to be replenished, the ability to enjoy August and January again (that’s when tuition bills come).

Couple To Deliver Commencement Speech At Marist

May 8, 2015
Al Nowak/Marist

Two journalists will be the first husband-and-wife team to deliver a commencement address at Poughkeepsie-based Marist College.

Along with the graduates, the college president and the featured speaker, a sign language interpreter is often part of commencement ceremonies, so those with hearing disorders can be part of the day. Northeast Career Planning in Albany provides sign language services to colleges and many other organizations. To learn more, we spoke with Lori Calka, a freelance sign language interpreter, and Sandy Cohen, manager of rehabilitation at Northeast Career Planning.

  America’s higher education system is failing its students. In the space of a generation, we have gone from being the best-educated society in the world to one surpassed by eleven other nations in college graduation rates.

Higher education is evolving into a caste system with separate and unequal tiers that take in students from different socio-economic backgrounds and leave them more unequal than when they first enrolled.

In Degrees of Inequality, acclaimed political scientist Suzanne Mettler explains why the system has gone so horribly wrong and why the American Dream is increasingly out of reach for so many.

6/18/13 - Panel

Jun 18, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf, and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain. Joe Donahue moderates.

Topics include:
GOP Abortion Agenda
G8 Meeting
Obama on Surveillance
Graduation Rates
Green Transit

Listener Essay - Double Graduation

May 6, 2013

  Sharing the spotlight can be difficult, especially when it’s with your sibling. We hear these stories all the time on TV, whether it’s Serena versus Venus Williams or John and Jim Harbaugh coaching against each other in the Super Bowl.

Essayist Leighann Camarero tells us about the personal connection she has with these competitive siblings when it comes to mom and dad having to choose who to support.

WAMC

Educators, business leaders, and philanthropists are backing an initiative in Springfield Massachusetts to combat a problem that confounds many urban schools: a  low high school graduation rate.

According to new data, 4-year high school graduation rates in Massachusetts are on the increase, while the dropout rate is on the decline.

State officials recently announced that the 4-year graduation rate has improved in the Bay State for the sixth year in a row. JC Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said that the statewide dropout rate also decreased to 2.5% in the last school year.

Governor Patrick to Speak to Grads of Re-Entry Program

Jun 25, 2012

Governor Deval Patrick will address graduates of two federal court programs aimed at helping defendants and high risk ex-offenders.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

The Court Assisted Recovery Effort program helps defendants maintain sober, employed and law-abiding lives through closer supervision and assistance.