In 2000, WGBH created Eye on Education in response to a need for an examination of the ongoing, often contentious debate about public school education in Massachusetts and at the Boston Public Schools in particular. Eye on Education focuses a journalistic spotlight on these issues, making use of WGBH’s local television series to produce original programs; acquiring national television specials that highlight education issues; presenting radio broadcasts; and building a robust, informative and accessible companion Web site.
On-going collaborations with WILD 1090AM and El Mundo Newspaper helps ensure that the initiative reaches a large and diverse audience. Eye on Education also works with the Boston Public Schools, the Massachusetts Department of Education, Citizens Schools and numerous community-based organizations.
In the fall of 2005 Eye on Education launched “Plan Your Path,” a Web site to help middle and high school students start thinking about what they want to do after high school. In the 2004, Eye on Education launched the “High School Choice” Web site to help Boston’s eighth-graders decide which public high school is right for them. The site guides visitors through the selection process, highlights important facts to consider and provides side-by-side school comparisons.
Eye on Education also developed a pilot to help teenagers work through some of the specific life challenges they face, with a program called Survivor’s Guide to High School. Combining the appeal of intervention TV with the heart of PBS’s mission, Survivor’s Guide helps high-schoolers navigate the rough terrain between junior high and college.
Eye on Education television programs regularly draw audiences that are larger than the series’ average and the Web site receives steady traffic. WGBH’S productions for this initiative are well received by the public, Eye on Education print and radio collaborators, and awards competitions.