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You hear a lot about students being career or college ready — it’s really a rather new way to judge high school success. So new, that there hasn’t been much research about it.

The Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium Tuesday will release its first report on career or college readiness. The report, which will be made available to educators in both Kansas and Missouri, shows data that is not particularly surprising.

Image Courtesy of Starlight Theatre / Copyright Bob Compton Photography

At the end of May, more than 2,000 kids and their friends and parents headed to Starlight Theatre for the Blue Star Awards, Kansas City’s high school version of the Tony Awards. They got decked out in dramatic formal wear, walked down a red carpet and had their pictures taken, then performed bits of their shows and made acceptance speeches.

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Multiple choice time. Was high school:

(a) The time of your life (kind of like Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days")

(b) A soul-scarring period of angst (as depicted in any John Hughes movie)

(c) None of the above

We catch up with our Class of 2015 students. We also talk to a local podcast host about why he was ready to put high school behind him and a Kansas City Public Schools staffer about what comes after graduation for the most vulnerable kids.

Guests:

KCPS

Lincoln Preparatory High School started the year with a big honor and now it's ending the school year with another.

The premier magnet school in the Kansas City Public Schools was named the best high school in Missouri by U.S. News & World Report.

In order to become a naturalized citizen, immigrants must pass a basic U.S. civics test. Some Missouri lawmakers are pushing for the state to adopt education policies that would require high schoolers to pass the same test to graduate. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with two lawmakers supporting this requirement, and quizzes listeners with questions from the U.S. Citizenship Civics Test.

Guests:

Visha Angelova / CC Flickr

High school seniors have a lot on their minds: graduation, applying to colleges, a whole year of "lasts." Meet two members of the class of 2015; we'll check in with them throughout the year, exploring the tricky issues that come up in that final stretch to the finish line.

Guests:

Noticias UFM / Flickr-CC

High school debate competitions are about more than just arguing over one issue. Fierce rivalries on the floor become close friendships when the dust settles, and the skills kids are learning can propel them far beyond the local classroom.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the relevance and benefits of participating in high school debate and speech and why it’s so popular with students.

Guests:

Graduation Anxiety

May 5, 2014
Dave Herholz / Flickr/CC

    

Spring is the season of change. Many high school seniors are preparing to leave the familiar to experience the independence that comes with university life. College seniors are expected to go out into the "real world" and take on new responsibilities. On today's Central Standard, psychologist Bruce Liese guides both students and parents through the uncertainties of this transitional period.

Guest:

North Charleston / Flickr-CC

It seems like we depend on machines for nearly everything we do, and a whole new breed of mechanical wonders is invading Kansas City this weekend for the 2014 KC Regional First Robotics Competition. 

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the competition that's attracting more than a thousand high school students who have designed their own robots.

Guests:

Jeff Weston/Flickr-CC

It’s almost back to school time, and that means worrying about getting the right school supplies, remembering a locker combination and, if you’re a teenager, figuring out how you fit in the dating scene.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with psychologist Wes Crenshaw and teen experts Kendra Schwartz and Josie Myers about how teens might find real love in high school, while swimming in a sea of hormones, hook-ups and angst.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It’s graduation season, and across the metro, high school valedictorians and senior speakers are putting the finishing touches on their commencement addresses. At DeLaSalle Education Center, Sandra Perez is excited, and a little nervous, to give the speech she wrote, which was selected out of the graduating class of 52 to be part of the commencement celebration.

“It’s a speech that’s going to be remembered at least by someone. I want it to be a speech that could impact at least one person,” says Sandra.

Watching the teenage experience

In 2008, High School Confidentiala documentary-type show that followed 12 high school girls at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park through their four years of high school, aired on WE tv. Sharon Liese is the filmmaker who created this show, and conceived the idea to create a documentary about the high school experience when her own daughter was going through high school.

 

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What teenager hasn't slept in until Noon on a weekend?

Repository / : Duke University Archives. Durham, North Carolina, USA

The class of 2012 may be excited to move on, but to what exactly? Recent high school graduates are facing some big challenges.