Why Don’t We Know Podcast
EXTRA: Why don’t we know where all the lead pipes are?

EXTRA: Why don’t we know where all the lead pipes are?

June 3, 2021

In April, President Joe Biden announced an infrastructure plan that includes removing and replacing all of America's lead drinking water pipes. It's an ambitious plan that would help millions of American children, and it was met with a lot of praise. But we couldn't help but wonder if this plan sounded too easy. Because as we've seen on a much smaller scale, sometimes it's really hard to know where all the lead pipes are. Host: Sara Ganim. Guests: Erik Olsen, Alex Stubblefield.

EXTRA: The Human Toll Of Missing Data

EXTRA: The Human Toll Of Missing Data

April 1, 2021

Depending on where you look, you can find a statistic that will tell you any number you want to see about how often students are bullied in school. Why is that? Why are bullying numbers all over the place? And how does it cause students to fall through the cracks? Host: Gabriella Paul. Reporter: McKenna Beery. Guests: Itea Aslanian, Deborah Temkin, Brooke Greier. 

Any Other Law

Any Other Law

February 23, 2021

In the season one finale of, we're unpacking a season full of secrecy in public education - answering the final 'WHY' of Why Don't We Know -- which is why hasn't FERPA been fixed? Host: Sara Ganim. Reporter: Conner Mitchell. Guests: Frank LoMonte, Paige Kowalski.

EXTRA: Why Don’t We Know how many kids are attending virtual learning?

EXTRA: Why Don’t We Know how many kids are attending virtual learning?

January 26, 2021

This was the most disruptive academic year in modern history, and we have collected very little data to help our students recover from it. This Extra episode tackles the question of Why Don't We Know how many students are actually attending virtual learning and which ones fell behind. Host: Sara Ganim. Reporter: Gabriella Paul. Guest: Paige Kowalski. 

EXTRA: Attacked

EXTRA: Attacked

January 19, 2021

When it comes to physical attacks on teachers in the classroom, it appears, we don't want to know. This episode explores the missing data regarding violence in the classroom and how it affects a school district. Host: Sara Ganim. Reporter: Angela DiMichele. Guests: Bill Gillard, anonymous teacher. 

Misplaced Fear

Misplaced Fear

January 13, 2021

We assumed that, since school shootings are such a known public safety concern, there would be really detailed data on how many weapons are brought into K-12 schools. But 15 states stopped us from seeing the mere number of guns brought to schools out of fear of violating privacy.

What the heck is FERPA?

What the heck is FERPA?

November 29, 2020

A step back and a look at the history of FERPA, the privacy act we’ve now spent quite a bit of time dissecting. How did we get here? We start in 1974 at its infancy and then look at two cases at the same university that show the glaring hypocrisy of its current use. Host: Sara Ganim; Reporter: Camille Respess; Guests: Amelia Vance, James Buckley, Lee Hermiston and Clark Kauffman

Education Records

Education Records

November 15, 2020

From sexual assault, to school yard injuries, to public safety, to political campaign contributions to racial bias, a federal privacy law called FERPA is being used as a one-word, catch-all answer for any information a school doesn't want to share. Host: Sara Ganim; Reporters: Marianna Faiello, Camille Respess; Guests: Laura Dunn, Karen Truszkowski, Brett Sokolow, Kendall Ware, Samantha Brennan, Abigail Owens, Brooke Moore. 

Secret Outcomes

Secret Outcomes

October 28, 2020

Why Don't We Know how Title IX cases are handled at many universities? The answer is combination of two things: a real concern for privacy and the comfort of secrecy. Host: Sara Ganim. Reporter: Marianna Faiello. Guests: Liz Abdnour, Brett Sokolow. 

BONUS: Secrecy and the Coronavirus

BONUS: Secrecy and the Coronavirus

October 18, 2020

Government agencies everywhere, not just schools, are using COVID19 as an excuse for not sharing information. FOIA office phone lines were disconnected. Calls went unreturned. Emails unanswered. 

In this episode, we also explore how government agencies are misapplying the Health Insurance and Portability Act. You probably know it as HIPAA.

Guests: Dave Cuillier, Terry Mutchler, Al-Amyn Sumar, Carolyne Hartley.
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