Research the News

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#12 – Foster Care

#11 – Phonics and Youth Literacy

Why are only 34% of fourth-grade public school students performing at a proficient level in reading?

Episode Notes

Why are only 34% of fourth-grade public school students performing at a proficient level in reading? This week we're talking with Kareem Weaver, the Co-Founder of FULCRUM - an organization whose goal is to ensure that every child is an 'on-time' reader with full literacy. Kareem previously led a leader development organization that supports teachers, and was an award-winning teacher and administrator in Oakland, California, and Columbia, South Carolina.

We discuss phonics, balanced literacy, whole language learning, and more. Plus, as a bonus we decide who has the greatest arm in baseball.

Check out the full episode list at

#10 – Life and Politics in Venezuela

with special guest Gonzalo Veloz

Episode Notes

This week, we talked with Gonzalo Veloz about what it was like to grow up in Venezuela, and what he thinks about the state of affairs in the country. Gonzalo came to the US in 2015 as a political asylum seeker, and since there have been many differing opinions on Venezuela’s economic rise and fall, we wanted to talk with someone who has first hand knowledge.

#9 – Why are Americans Leaving the Church? (w. Michael Gungor of The Liturgists)

Episode Notes

In this Episode Ray and Caitlin talked with Michael Gungor - a Grammy nominated Christian musician and founder of The Liturgists podcast who left the Christian church a few years ago. Recently, U.S. church membership fell below the majority for the first time ever so we figured this would be a great time for us to talk about why this is. Caitlin is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church who grew up in a Christian household, and Ray didn't go to church as a child but became involved as an adult so we have a few perspectives covered.

#8 – Journalism Is Broken (The Fall of the Fourth Estate)

Episode Notes

This week, Ray gives a monologue on why journalism is broken and how we're witnessing the fall of the fourth estate. Then, Gretchen joins in to talk about what it means to 'research the news' and why everyone should be digging deep into the headlines.

#7 – Transgender Athletes

Episode Notes

This week we talked with Jessica Scott about transgender athletes. Jessica is Associate Professor of Gender Studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Dr. Scott holds degrees from the University of Illinois and from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). She is widely published in peer reviewed journals dealing with issues of sexuality and gender, and she is working on the publication of her first monograph.

#6 – Disagreeing Without Hate

Episode Notes

This week, Ray and Gretchen will talk with Hannah Broadway (Licensed Professional Counselor) about how people can disagree without hating each other. This seems like a lost art sometimes, but we hope to give some perspective on how we can interact in a healthy way.

#5 – Asian Race Relations

Episode Notes

This week we'll be talking with Andrew about some of the issues he's faced as an Asian American, and how he feels about the media coverage regarding the issues.

#4 – Prison Reform

Episode Notes

In this episode, we will be talking with Caitlin Werth about prison reform. Caitlin was the director of the HOPE Pre-Release Program at Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, PA. HOPE is an inter-faith, rehabilitative, re-entry program for incarcerated men and women. We'll be looking at the issues from both liberal and conservative viewpoints, with the goal of understanding ways that we can improve the prison system.

#3 – Bad Decisions and Repercussions (feat. Andrew Cuomo)

Episode Notes

This week, we're talking about how we judge political candidates and public figures. We'll also take a look at how much weight apologies hold, and what forgiveness looks like.

#2 – Cancel Culture and Virtue Signaling

Episode Notes

This week, we talked with Peace Ike about cancel culture and virtue signaling. (And yes, we do talk very briefly about Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss)

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