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FROM THIS EPISODE

First in Compton, now in Adelanto — out in the Mojave Desert — elected school boards have rejected petitions by parents to reform failing schools.  In both cases, the signatures of enough parents to "trigger" reforms have been withdrawn at the last minute. Was there fraud, intimidation or outside pressure? What was the role of the teachers' union? Will Adelanto become ground zero for education reform?  Also, movie director James Cameron's dive to the deepest place in the ocean. Will 3-D pictures create a craze for Marine Biology? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, is there unconscious racial bias in America's justice system?

Banner image: Desert Trails Parent Union, courtesy of Parent Revolution

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Anna Scott

Main Topic Racial Bias and America's Mass Incarceration 25 MIN, 39 SEC

The full story of the Trayvon Martin case may never be known, but it's raising important questions about America's justice system. Why do we imprison so many people — seven to 10 times more than any other developed country? Sixty percent of them are black or Latino. What's the role of racial bias?

Guests:
Marc Mauer, Sentencing Project
James Forman, Jr, Yale Law School
Deborah Ramirez, Northeastern University School of Law (@NUSL)

Race to Incarcerate

Marc Mauer

Main Topic Will Parents Ever Be Able to Pull the "Trigger?" 17 MIN, 53 SEC

The so-called "Parent Trigger" has failed again. That's the name of a new law providing that parents of kids in a failing school can initiate reforms, from replacing half the staff to converting the school to a charter. The signatures of 51 percent of the parents are required. But first in Compton, then last night in the Mojave Desert town of Adelanto, elected school boards have rejected such efforts.

Guests:
Natasha Lindstrom, Victorville Daily Press
Gloria Romero, Democrats for Education Reform
Dean Vogel, California Teachers' Association (@CATeachersAssoc)

Reporter's Notebook James Cameron's Journey to the Bottom of the Sea 10 MIN, 3 SEC

The director of Titanic and Avatar has now been where only two others have been before -- to the deepest place in the ocean, 35,000 feet below the surface, lower than Mount Everest is high. James Cameron did it alone and felt "complete isolation from all humanity." Douglas Bartlett, marine biologist at the Scripps Institution at the University of San Diego in La Jolla, is chief scientist for the Deepsea Challenge program, sponsored by Rolodex and the National Geographic Society.

Guests:
Doug Bartlett, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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