The Learning Curve Podcast

Wednesdays at 12 pm

“The Learning Curve” is where you’ll find straight talk about the nation’s hottest education stories – news and opinion from the schoolyard to the 2020 campaign trail. Co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal serve up provocative commentary and interview school leaders, innovators, bestselling authors, policymakers and more.

Listeners can find “The Learning Curve” on iTunes (Apple Podcasts), StitcherSpotify, and the Choice Media mobile app. Also find it online at Ricochet and Pioneer Institute. Follow The Learning Curve on:

Urban Institute’s Dr. Matthew Chingos on the Year of School Choice & the Student Loan Debt Crisis

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Dr. Matthew Chingos, who directs the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. They discuss the “Year of School Choice,” the welcome 2021 trend of states across America expanding or establishing private school choice programs; as well as the student debt crisis in higher education.

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About Our Co-Hosts

Cara Stillings Candal, Ed.D., serves as Director of Educational Opportunity, focusing on private school choice, for ExcelinEd. Cara has spent the last 10 years working in education policy as a Senior Fellow with both Pioneer Institute and the Center for Education Reform. She was also a founding team member of the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE) and a research assistant professor at Boston University in the Department of Educational Leadership and Development. Cara has authored/edited more than 25 papers and three books on education policy. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Indiana University, a Masters of Arts in Social Science from the University of Chicago and a Doctorate of Education from Boston University. Cara is the author most recently of Pioneer Institute’s book,The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation.

Gerard Robinson is the Vice President for Education at the Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation (ASCF) in Charlottesville, Virginia. ASCF uses basic and applied research to educate the public and key societal leadership groups about the nature and challenges of late-modern society and conducts inquiry into humane and democratic responses to these challenges. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Center for Advancing Opportunity, in Washington, D.C. Robinson is a fellow with AEI, and was Commissioner of Education in Florida and Secretary of Education in Virginia.

Browse all episodes below:

Dr. Lindsey Burke on LBJ’s True Education Legacy

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Dr. Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation talks with The Learning Curve co-host Bob Bowdon about her new book, The Not-So-Great-Society, co-edited with Jonathan Butcher, and why the LBJ era is an inflection point for federal intervention in local school policy.

NH Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut on State-Driven K-12 Reform

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New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut joins "The Learning Curve" podcast this week, plus Bob & Cara break down the new NAEP results, and share education stories out of Denver and Detroit.

The Learning Curve: Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week

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This week on The Learning Curve, Bob talks with Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week and author of the new book, "The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child."

Dr. Howard Fuller on School Choice & Presidential Politics

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Cara and Bob talk withthe the great Dr. Howard Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Education, about his passionate activism on behalf of education reform, his concerns about the lack of support among Democratic presidential candidates for charter schools & more!

The Learning Curve: “Wilfred McClay on his new book, Land of Hope”

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Wilfred McClay, University of Oklahoma Professor, discusses his new high school textbook, "Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story," that seeks to provide an account of this nation's rich and complex story that puts it in proper perspective, and that is both honest and inspiring.

This Week on “The Learning Curve”: Natalie Wexler on her new book, The Knowledge Gap

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Bob & Cara talk with Natalie Wexler, author of "The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–And How to Fix It," about the shift in K-12 education, even in the Common Core era, from an emphasis on academic content to empty skills and strategies.

The Learning Curve: National Education Podcast

“The Learning Curve” is where you’ll find straight talk about the nation’s hottest education stories - news and opinion from the schoolyard to the 2020 campaign trail.