Teachers: Maddie Burkemper (who now teaches 5th grade); Maria Kennedy (high school humanities); David Muhammad (high school government).

Secession is back and not just in American History class. Our teachers this week tackle the story of mostly white Alabama city seeking to secede from a largely black county-run school district. Our teachers have a problem with the district’s stated reasons for seceding and a problem with what they say it means for public education writ large.

Plus, should character traits like “responsibility” and “optimism” on students’ grade reports? Our teachers talk about the uses and abuses of such so-called “soft skills” assessments.

Finally, there’s no Kids These Days this week because our teachers our out of school. (They haven’t been around kids.) But we’re trying something new: a pop culture roundup. This week: a fat-shaming movie poster, Wonder Woman storms America, and “covfefe.”


Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.