Why Don’t We Know Podcast
Special Episode: Jason Leopold - Ultimate Transparency

Special Episode: Jason Leopold - Ultimate Transparency

October 26, 2022

In this special episode, we bring you a live taping of the first-ever Brechner Speaker Series, co-hosted by the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, featuring award-winning investigative reporter Jason Leopold, who has broken some of the top stories of our time using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.) Nicknamed "the FOIA terrorist" by government officials who are forced to answer his requests, Jason talks about ultimate transparency in government and in his own personal life. 

He is the reporter who forced Hillary Clinton's emails to become public, exposed a religion test used by the U.S. Military, and illegal practices by big banks, which became an investigation known as the FinCEN Files.

Host, Sara Ganim. Guests, Matt Jacobs, Hub Brown, Jason Leopold. 

Special Episode: ’Gag order’ against sexual assault

Special Episode: ’Gag order’ against sexual assault

June 2, 2022

In this special episode, taped live at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas in March, we discuss how schools are bullying young sexual assault accusers into waiving their rights during school investigations into what happened to them. Title IX is supposed to protect students who allege sexual assault, but some schools are requiring their silence, and threatening discipline if they don't comply.

It runs afoul of the law, many experts say, and led attorney Laura Dunn and the non-profit Equal Rights Advocates to pen a letter to the U.S. Department of Education, trying to get the Biden Administration to stop this practice from continuing. Host: Sara Ganim. Guests: Laura Dunn, Kel O'Hara. 

 

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. 

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