tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS January 10, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, january 10th the united states flies a b-52 over south korea in a "demonstration of commitment" to its ally. in our signature segment, a look at the oldest, voluntary school desegregation program in the country. >> that's the key, that it's voluntary. that the suburban districts that are participating are doing so because they see the benefit. >> sreenivasan: and, the united states considers ending a program that encourages cuban doctors to defect. next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family.
the citi foundation. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. the united states has made a show of force to bolster south korea, five days after what north korea claimed was its first hydrogen bomb test. which has yet to be confirmed. today, the u.s. air force flew a nuclear-capable b-52 bomber based in guam on a low-level flight over south korean air space. it was escorted by american f-
16's based in south korea and south korean fighter jets. the u.s. military calls the exercise a demonstration of commitment to its ally, south korea. >> the united states remains steadfast in its commitment to the defense of the republic of korea and maintaining the stability on the korean peninsula to include extended deterrence provided by our conventional forces and our nuclear umbrella. >> sreenivasan: after visiting his military headquarters, north korean leader kim jong-un said last week's test was a self defensive step from, quote, "the danger of nuclear war caused by the u.s.-led imperialists." mexican authorities want to question actor sean penn about his stealth interview with mexican drug cartel leader joaquin "el chapo" guzman. "rolling stone" magazine published penn's article late yesterday about his visit to one of guzman's hideouts in october, three months after guzman had escaped from prison. in a video answering questions submitted by penn after the visit, guzman denied he was responsible for the high level of drug addiction in the world.
>> ( translated ): no, that is false, because the day i don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all. >> sreenivasan: the u.s. has asked mexico, which re-captured guzman friday, to extradite him to face u.s. charges for trafficking heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. president obama's chief of staff said today guzman is partly responsible for the heroin epidemic across the u.s. >> i was appalled by his bragging to the interviewers in "rolling stone" that he moves more heroin than anybody in the world. >> sreenivasan: france is commemorating the victims of all of last year's terrorist attacks that killed almost 150 people. french president francois hollande and the mayor of paris unveiled a plaque in memory of the victims at the ceremony today in the city's place de la republique. last week marked one year since islamic extremists killed 16 people in the offices of the magazine "charlie hebdo" and in a kosher market. last november 13th, terrorists affiliated with the islamic militant group isis killed 130
people in attacks on paris cafes and a concert hall. one suspect directly involved remains at large. >> sreenivasan: for the past decade, the united states has encouraged cuban doctors and nurses working outside cuba to defect to the united states. since 2006, the u.s. has approved more than 7,000 applications, according to the state department and department of homeland security. now, the obama administration is considering ending the program as part of the normalization of u.s.-cuban relations. reuters white house correspondent jeff mason first reported the story and joins me now from washington. how did the program work, how did we get 7,000 applicants in the system? >> well, the program basically works by allowing cuban doctors who are overseas because of incentive by the government to apply at u.s. embassies for entry into the united states. and the state department gives
these em bas eyes and u.s. officials abroad pretty wide latitude to approve those applications and to get those applications going. so it's a program that-- is actually very proud of because it sends, or it is basically exporting their medical professionals abroad to help in places that really need it. they also earn money from doing that. so they certainly, the cuban government certainly saw it as a pretty big slap in the face. >> sreenivasan: i remember hearing about how many cuban doctors were there in africa to treat ebola. almost every natural disaster that happens around the world, you always hear of a large number of cuban doctors that are there. >> yeah, that's right. the cuban doctors are known for bringing being skillful medical proaksals and something the cubans are proud of. so sort of poaching them away into the united states was one of the many thorns in the side, in that relationship both for cuban-- cuba and among many that are throrns in the side of the
united states as well. >> some of the dock tors that were defecting also complained about the fact that they weren't getting paid what these foreign countries was paying cuban. >> right, i mean it was a moneymaker for cuba. one of the examples is they send-- cuba sends a lot of medical professionalsalsals to venezuala in exchange for oil. and the cuban doctors themselves, though they were probably making a more competitive salary than they were back at home, they were thot taking in all the revenue that the cuban government was taking from sending those people abroad. so that was indeed one of their complaints and one of the reasons that they took up this opportunity from the united states. >> sreenivasan: as we start normalizing relations, has that encouraged people to sairks you know what, let's go ahead and put in our applications now, cause almost a surge in the last year. or what is the cuban government doing about this? >> the cuban government actually has clamped down on the number of doctors that they allow to leave cuba and to participate in these program as broad.
and that is actually something that lead the united states, which as i reported, has put this program under review. that is being, included in part of that he are view right now. so the cubans have taken some action to reduce those numbers because of the poaching and because of the number of people leaving. >> routers white house cor correspondent jeff mason, thanks. >> thank you so much. >> sreenivasan: more than 60 years after the supreme court declared "separate but equal" schools unconstitutional, the united states is still a long way from fully integrated public schools. racial isolation remains a problem not only in the southern states where segregation was once the norm, but also in states like new york. for example, the u.c.l.a. civil rights project has found new york state has the highest concentration of black and latino kids in schools that are less than 10% white, schools that are often in low-income urban areas.
in tonight's signature segment, we look at a voluntary integration program in rochester, new york, where suburban communities have welcomed city kids to their schools since the 1960s. this story is part of "chasing the dream," our continuing coverage of poverty and opportunity in america. >> sreenivasan: in the suburbs of rochester, new york, parents and students pack the gym for a varsity high school basketball game. senior ty'reek sizer-- number 3- - is a starting guard and an honor roll student at irondequoit high. he's attended schools in west irondequoit since second grade and says he feels at home, but he doesn't live in the school district. since he was seven years old, sizer has traveled from his family's home in rochester, a 45 minute bus ride each way to school. he's part of urban-suburban, the oldest voluntary school desegregation program in the country. >> at first, i didn't realize that i was coming into this opportunity. >> sreenivasan: it's become an opportunity for 700 minority
students from rochester to attend schools in the primarily white suburbs, where the schools are consistently rated higher- performing. >> i feel like i would have been good staying in the city school district, but i don't feel like it would have been as beneficial as coming here. we have basically the best of the best here, so you have a lot of resources. >> sreenivasan: and ty'reek has thrived: taking advanced placement classes, winning national awards with the school's business club, and applying to college for next year. >> i think the impact is immeasurable. >> sreenivasan: theresa woodson is the administrator of rochester's urban-suburban program. it started 51 years ago, in 1965, to increase racial integration in the region. west irondequoit was the first district to sign up, accepting 24 minority students from the inner city that first year. this year, the district has 137 students from the city. overall, in west irondequoit, the students are 74% white, and 27% are economically disadvantaged, qualifying for
assistance such as free or reduced price lunch. by contrast, in the city of rochester, 10% of the students are white, and 91% are economically disadvantaged. it isn't easy for a city kid to get into a district like west irondequoit. only about 10 to 15% of kids who apply through urban-suburban are accepted. >> the program is not based on quotas or lottery or first-come first-served. there has to be space available. >> sreenivasan: besides a student's academic ability, parental engagement is a key factor for admission. >> their level of commitment, their level of participation is really the glue that holds all this together once their child is selected. >> sreenivasan: victoria sizer is ty'reek's mother. she wanted something better for ty'reek after her oldest daughter attended city schools. >> the communication wasn't really there. when my daughter was going to 12th grade, the counselor didn't, i didn't hear anything about colleges or how the
process starts about her going to colleges. and it was so frustrating. i'm like, there needs to be a change. >> sreenivasan: she heard about urban-suburban from another parent and applied. it took her two years to get ty'reek in, and sending her young child to a school far away was nerve wracking. >> it was just a scary process going, because we're african american, is he going to be okay? is he going to transition okay? are they going to treat him right? all that was going through my mind. but that was a chance i was going to take. but when he got to the school, and i felt like he was safe, and it was a welcoming community, it was like so relieving. >> sreenivasan: she found immediate acceptance when another mother called her early in ty'reek's first year. >> it was like, we want to invite ty'reek over for a playdate. which i'm like, "a play date? what is a play date?" she was like, "oh, he could come over and spend some time with her son." >> sreenivasan: for victoria, urban-suburban provided an
opportunity she couldn't, while raising five children and working as a nurse's aide. administrator theresa woodson says one of secrets to the program's success is that it was not imposed on rochester by politicians or judges. the suburbs chose this approach. >> that's the key for us, that, you know, that it's voluntary. no court mandates. that the suburban districts that are participating are doing so because they see the benefit. >> sreenivasan: the benefit of increasing their own diversity at no additional cost: state funding follows the student to the suburbs and picks up the tab for busing. still, for most of the past 50 years, the program has been modest in scope with only six of the 17 suburban districts surrounding rochester taking part. west irondequoit school district superintendent jeff crane says there's always been a small, but vocal opposition to urban- suburban. >> i will get a call at least one or two calls that are
against this program each year, and sometimes that's hard to hear. >> sreenivasan: around the 50th anniversary last year, officials pushed to expand the program. in the town of spencerport, west of rochester, public hearings were divisive. a common complaint was that only children of color were eligible. >> i'm also not happy that we can't seem to come up with some sort of equitable solution to being able to help people in this program without excluding other people. i'm talking about excluding caucasians from this program. there's no reason that you should exclude those people from the city school district as well. >> sreenivasan: crane says the debate forced school officials to update their admission criteria to focus on poverty, not only race, and starting next school year urban-suburban will be open to any student in rochester, regardless of ethnicity. >> we changed our mission statement, not only to decrease voluntarily racial isolation, but also to help deconcentrate
poverty. by doing that, we took away some of the pointed arguments that the program was racist in setting about a racial isolation problem. >> sreenivasan: five new districts did opt to join urban- suburban last year, including spencerport, where the school board unanimously approved joining despite the controversy. sixth grader zavannah alvarez is one of 17 new students there. her parents, ramon and itza alvarez, say the divisiveness over the program in spencerport has not affected how their daughter has been treated. >> when i talk to the counselor, she doesn't see her just like this kid that came from the city. she's part of her, you know, one of her kids. and she talks to her like one of her kids. if you are treating my daughter like that, i'm all for it. >> sreenivasan: in the first few months, the alvarez's say zavannah's getting more rigorous instruction. >> she takes math twice, i believe, in a day. before it was just once. so now she's getting that extra... >> ...that extra help she needs. >> and she's doing well.
>> sreenivasan: for zavannah and her older brother christian, who attends an urban-suburban program in another district, there's been a big adjustment to a grueling schedule. >> the kids wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get ready, to be out on the bus by 6:00. it's a long bus ride. but you know what, i like it, because it teaches them responsibility. and when they get older and they get a job, their careers, they're going to have to wake up early anyway. >> sreenivasan: even in its 51st year, rochester's urban-suburban program serves only 700 kids in a district of nearly 30,000. it's the smallest of the eight interdistrict transfer programs across the country and about 40,000 students participate. the largest is hartford, connecticut with 19,000 kids. university of rochester education professor kara finnigan says while research on these programs is limited, it has shown positive academic and social benefits. >> it's really one of the only policy tools we have right now. this kind of program that allows kids to cross district
boundaries whether it's through urban-suburban kind of program or through interdistrict magnets. these are the only opportunities we have to really address some of the inequities around opportunity and outcomes because of the boundaries. >> sreenivasan: the rochester area remains racially isolated. the percent of schools that are intensely-segregated-- more than 90% minority-- grew more than fivefold over the last 20 years. >> i think that there probably are ways that the program could grow, but it's never going to solve the problems in rochester. really you need investment in places to make them thrive. and you need opportunities within the city that kids from the suburbs will want to go to just as much, because they're wonderful opportunities in whatever programs they offer. >> sreenivasan: rochester teachers' union president adam urbanski supports the idea behind urban-suburban but says the program cherry picks the
highest achieving city kids and has not led to broader changes. >> unwittingly, this is contributing to the delay of the real solution. and, therefore to the widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots. i want us to do things that can be scaled up and not have programs that end up as a boutique exception to the sad norm. >> none of us involved in this program have ever said to anyone this is the answer. this is just one of the ways in which we start to deal, as a society, with the issues we're all faced with. >> sreenivasan: with the addition of new districts, rochester urban-suburban is expecting to increase its enrollments in the coming years. this coming fall the program will go both ways, and send kids from the suburbs to select city schools. >> i just think as a county as a whole, that we're all interconnected, and i think when we're working in unison, and
we're rowing in the same direction, to benefit all kids, regardless of where their address is, i think that's the key. >> sreenivasan: at 17, ty'reek sizer no longer takes the bus to school, instead driving a family car the six-and-a-half miles from home with his younger brother and friends. after a decade going to school in west irondequoit, ty'reek believes being in a more diverse environment will pay off. >> it does get a little challenging knowing that you're probably like the only african- american in your class, but at the end of the day, i feel like this prepares me better for college. >> sreenivasan: his first choice is syracuse university, where african americans make up about eight percent of the student body. what happens to students growing up in mostly segregated inner- city schools? watch our "race matters" conversation with pedro noguera online at pbs.org/newshour when china's stock market plunged 10% last week, it had
ripple effects around the world. in the u.s., the dow jones industrial average dropped more than 1,000 points, losing 6% of its value. china still has the world's second largest economy, but its currency has been devalued, and it appears to be experiencing a real estate bubble. the signs of a financial crisis are in some ways reminiscent of the conditions in the u.s. eight years ago. yesterday, i spoke with marilyn geewax, the senior business editor for national public radio, to discuss china's economic woes and their effect on the u.s. >> sreenivasan: there's a conversation judy woodruff had with tom per easy about a strong jobs report number and really a series of long, strong jobs reports numbers. so we have some reasons to be optimistic about the u.s. economy. but then here was the last week where our stock market responded so closely to china. >> right, that's really the question that everyone is trying to figure out. is the u.s. economy, the real economy, the people who are just
doing their jobs every day in the united states, the construction workers who are building new homes, are those jobs enough to keep our country moving forward. we've got almost 300,000 new jobs in december. that's incredibly strong. we've had really a good run and it looks like wages are poised to start to inch up. so maybe everything's fine. but on the other hand, there is this fear of con taijon, that is what happening in china will end up reverberating out across the world, that it is disrupting fng markets and look what happened to our stock market this past week was terrible. so it's very unchartered. people don't know what to make of all of this. because china has never been so large and so powerful before. and now all of a sudden they are having all these problems and with their currency, about their stock prices. and really, it's just unknown whether or not that's going to derail us in some way or not. >> sreenivasan: now this, the preconditions for our financial crisis were housing
bubble-- bubble based on sometimes predatory lending but people were buying things that they couldn't afford. and that also happened in china. so are they seeing the ripple effects of that? >> is this all one big giant crisis? we're sort of talking about it like two different things, that there was something that happened in the united states in 200, 8, the and a separate thing happens in china. but actually maybe it's all part of the same big tappestry where you started out in the united states with a financial crisis that was tied to too much spending on housing, too many people borrowed too much money and then that bubble burst. and that was really bad. it set off a terrible global recession. but then it moved over to europe where the problem really was more sovereign debt, where countries had borrowed too much, like greece. so you had a big disruption over there that hurt the european economiment and now you're moving over to china where the government spent way too much money on what people called
ghost cities, maybe they built way too much insphr strawk ture and apartment buildings and now that bubble is burgs. is this part three of the same big giant crisis that has been going on for years and it still is going to pull it down with it? or is this really a completely separate issue and really the united states has already gone through its correction and we're in much better shape now. and china will just have to sort it out on its own. so i hate to say that, you know, we just don't know but we just don't know. we have to see how this plays out. and there is an argument that it could be very bad for the whole global economy. but there's also an argument that china's stock market is very small and primitive. it's not really tied in with the rest of the world. you know in europe and the united states, the banks are big and robust and tied together and they influence each other. china is kind of-- it's a big manufacturing economy but it's a small financial power. >> marilyn geewax senior business editor for npr, thanks
so much. >> you're welcome. >> sreenivasan: archaeologists working for the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, or n.o.a.a., have made a startling discovery off the coast of alaska: whaling ships that sank nearly 145 years ago. the newshour's zachary green has more. >> reporter: n.o.a.a. archaeologists last week found the remains of two whaling ships that sank in 1871. this underwater footage provides an up close look at the anchors, chains, planking, and framing in the construction of the old ships. the archaeologists were able to pinpoint the wrecks near the shores of wainwright, on alaska's north slope. their search was enabled by sonar technology and diminished sea ice due to climate change. the two wrecks were part of a whaling fleet that encountered ice floes that tore into their hulls, trapping them and tearing them apart. in all, 33 ships sank. more than 1,200 men, women, and children had been aboard the
fleet. nearby whaling ships rescued them, dumping their cargo to make room. the disaster cost $33 million in today's inflation-adjusted dollars, contributing to the whaling industry's decline. their discovery is part of a larger effort by n.o.a.a. to understand america's whaling trade in the 1800's. once a lucrative source of oil, by the mid-19th century, whale populations shrank due to over- hunting, and whaling crews began sailing further north into the arctic for new prey. the co-director of n.o.a.a.'s project says this discovery will help close an important chapter in american maritime history. join the pbs news hour for live coverage of the president obama final state of the union address, followed by the republican response. we'll be joined by our own panel of plt kal experts for analysis from both sides of the aisle it all starts tuesday january 12th at 9 p.m., 8 central on pb snchts-- pbs.
>> sreenivasan: finally tonight, 53 year old-- vogel has set a record for long distance sieblging. he finished a year long ride last night in florida after biking 76,000 and 76 miles. the equivalent of circling the earth three times. wearing a gps tracker erode an average of 208 miles a day, pedaling 12 to 14 hours through eight states and with a support team of one, his wife. he beat the record set by a british cyclist in 1939 by a thousand miles. on the newshour tomorrow, ahead of college football's championship game, we explore the hit concussions take on players. that's it for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm harry sreenivasan. thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet
captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the citi foundation. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
highclere castle, world-famous as the location for hit drama series downton abbey. over centuries it's played host to royalty, nobility and celebrity. it holds unexpected secrets. this is a fairy tale castle with a real-life lord and lady. and even a real-life butler. i think it's very important to maintain standards because once they disappear they will never come back. this is the behind-the-scenes story of england's best-known country home. (bell)