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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama is meeting with teachers and school officials today to talk about reducing testing time for students. Right now, big city school district's average about 112 mandatory standardized tests a year. And how is this school testing mania playing out here in California, and in Los Angeles?

Then, the TV show Empire recently introduced a new character: a scheming lawyer called Thirsty Rawlings played by Andre Royo. He played Bubbles on The Wire. That and more in our weekly TV roundup.

Next, the boardroom is the height of power and influence in Hollywood but at companies like Sony, Viacom and Comcast, women fill only about 18% of the board seats.

Finally, the science fiction writer J.G. Ballard has influenced several films, and also a whole generation of post-punk and new wave musicians.

Banner Image: Bonnie Hammer, President of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment & Universal Cable Studios; Credit: Rubenstein, photographer Martyna Borkowski

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Ryan Kailath

Obama Aims to Reduce Testing Time for Students 9 MIN, 18 SEC

President Obama is meeting with teachers and school officials today to talk about reducing testing time for students. On Saturday, he admitted that there is too much testing in public schools. Right now, big city school district's average about 112 mandatory standardized tests a year.

Guests:
Anya Kamenetz, NPR (@anya1anya)

School Testing in L.A. 8 MIN, 43 SEC

How is this school testing mania playing out here in California, and in Los Angeles?

Guests:
John Rogers, UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access

TV Roundup: 'Empire' Introduces A New Character 9 MIN

The TV show Empire recently introduced a new character: a scheming lawyer called Thirsty Rawlings played by Andre Royo. He played Bubbles on The Wire. Writer Aisha Harris argues that Royo’s performance on Empire is so good, it’s time for TV fans to forget about Bubbles and say hello to Thirsty.

Guests:
Aisha Harris, Slate (@craftingmystyle)

Women in the Hollywood Boardroom 8 MIN, 12 SEC

The boardroom is the height of power and influence in Hollywood but at companies like Sony, Viacom and Comcast, women fill only about 18% of the board seats.

Guests:
Kim Masters, host, 'The Business' (@kimmasters)

J.G. Ballard's Punk Influence 11 MIN, 18 SEC

The science fiction writer J.G. Ballard was prolific. He wrote 18 novels during his career and published more than two dozen short story collections. Several of his works have been turned into films, and a new film based on his work—High Rise—is on the festival circuit right now. But Ballard didn’t just inspire filmmakers—he was also a massive inspiration to a whole generation of post-punk and new wave musicians.

Guests:
Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW DJ (@ericjlawrence)

High-Rise

J. G. Ballard

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