The Final Push to Graduation

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Danielle Motindabeka didn't speak English when she came to the U.S. from the Congo at the age of 13.

But by the time Motindabeka, now a 19-year-old reporter with WNYC's Radio Rookies program, was in high school, her language skills were strong enough for her to pass six state exams and maintain a GPA of 85. Still, there was just one thing keeping her from graduating from high school: The New York State Regents exam for U.S. history.

Danielle failed that exam three times before finally finding out last week that she was going to graduate high school—before this year, that exam was the only thing keeping Danielle from a high school diploma, which took her an extra year to obtain. Yasmeen Khan, a WNYC reporter who has been covering the national drop-out crisis here in New York City, says Danielle's story isn't all that uncommon.

This story is part of American Graduate, a public media initiative addressing the dropout crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting


Yasmeen Khan and Danielle Motindabeka

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

Jim from Minneapolis

The topic of the hard work required to enter the US and then learn the language and history of the US in order to pass the Regents' exam was worthy, and the pieces of content needed for a good story were all there....

...but the editing of that story was terrible! Not of a quality that I would expect of a WNYC production, and not of a quality consistent with national distribution-level public radio shows:
- The guest repeated almost verbatim what a taped school principal said about "shredding diplomas" within seconds. Poor editing.
- All of a sudden the student subject of the story was talking, with no introduction of same by Hockenberry. Confusing, and amatuerish radio.
- The flow of the story seemed like there was no outline to out, and felt as though no one had listened to it for a final check before it aired.

Again, the topic was great, and the content was probably there, but it was not well put together by John and the off air staff.

The Takeaway is syndicated and picked up in the Twin Cities by Minnesota Public Radio, and I have found the Takeaway's editing and the interview questions to be substandard, not at all as well put together as "On The Media" which I listen to every week. Does Brooke Gladstone have edit another show? (JK)

Jul. 02 2014 03:17 PM

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