Kavitha Cardoza | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Kavitha Cardoza

Special Correspondent

Cardoza reports on area news, with a special focus on children, education and poverty.

Cardoza has won numerous awards for her work. In 2012 she received the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Hard News. That same year, her five-part series on childhood obesity won first place in the Series category in the National Awards for Education Reporting and recognition from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Cardoza joined the station in 2008, and was previously the Springfield bureau chief for WUIS in Illinois. She was also an adjunct faculty member for the university’s Department of Communication.

She holds graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Manipal Institute of Communication in India.


Articles Written by Kavitha Cardoza

WAMU 88.5
Yes they're hungry, Metro staff warns of escalators, but they have highly specific dietary needs and shoes have no nutritional value. Neither do the keys or cell phones that are sometimes dropped by riders -- but flip-flops are the equivalent of junk food."If someone makes it to the top or the bottom of the escalator where the yellow comb plate is located and they don't lift th...
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Overall in D.C., secondary schools continued their five-year upward trend with the 2011 standardized test results. Now, almost 53 percent of secondary school students are "proficient" in math, and 48 percent in reading."You would be hard pressed to find any other major urban jurisdiction that has results like this," says D.C. State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley....
WAMU 88.5
The report "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future" ranks states and District of Columbia on the obesity scale. Maryland is the 26th most obese state, Virginia is 30th and the District is 50th. But in all three, the percentage of adults who are obese is around the 25 percent mark.Jeff Levi heads Trust for America's Health, the organization that co-authored the repo...
WAMU 88.5
According to the results, secondary school students in D.C.P.S. showed nearly a 3 percentage-point increase in math compared to last year. Now 46 percent of students are what is called, “proficient" in math. Reading scores increased slightly as well, with 44 percent of students at grade level.D.C. school chancellor Kaya Henderson used words such as "thrilled" and "excited" to...
WAMU 88.5
Jeff Levi heads Trust for America's Health, the organization that co-authored the report. He says in a relative ranking, D.C. comes out better than all states except Colorado. But he also notes that in the absolute sense, the District still has an unacceptably high level of obesity.Levi also says the overall obesity rate of almost 22 percent masks large disparities in the popul...
WAMU 88.5
There is still a lot left to be done, however, before the entire lawsuit is dismissed.A court-appointed monitor found the District now has a 90 percent timeliness compliance in the Blackman part of the case. This means most students who file complaints about the special education services they receive now meet a hearing officer and have the issue resolved within 45 days....
WAMU 88.5
Before he was hired by the D.C. government, Thomas Nelson served time for armed robbery and assault. Gray called the incidents alarming but says whether or not to hire someone who has been in prison is "a hugely delicate balance.""We have a lot of returning citizens in the District of Columbia and they wind up swelling the ranks of the unemployed," Gray says. "So we're working ...
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Blade Editor Kevin Naff says staff members have just begun the process of digitally archiving all those images to preserve them. He says there are joyful photos of early pride celebrations in the '70s as well as more serious ones."There's one of a gay man who had died of AIDS and activists carried his open casket to the White House," he says. "Those photos are very powerful."...
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Parker will be a senior fellow for a year, writing policy papers, meeting teachers and advocating for education reform.Some have called Parker a sellout for joining Rhee. Parker says that while he and Rhee do not agree on everything, there are issues they do agree on, including teacher salaries and performance incentive pay."If it's about children, then you work with peo...
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Grasmick was named superintendent in 1991 and for two decades has overseen what is now widely considered the best public school system in the country. She says she's proud of the changes she's been able to implement, including consolidating early childhood programs."In 2001 and 2002, only 49 percent of our children were coming to school really ready to learn," she says. "This y...
WAMU 88.5
In the coming weeks, teachers in D.C. public schools will begin receiving letters with their evaluation ratings, and for some that could mean pink slips. Hundreds of educators who received poor scores last year could be fired if their scores haven't improved this year.Saunders knows that the Teachers' Union doesn't have the right to negotiate the teacher evaluation tool. But he...
WAMU 88.5
The gains are modest but show an upward trend. For example, across Maryland elementary school children's reading scores increased from 82.8 to 83.5 percent proficiency, and middle school student's math scores moved up from 72.6 to 73.7 percent. Maryland Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick says the state has a strong curriculum and professional development programs in place."S...
WAMU 88.5
Holton-Arms is a private school for girls grades three through 12. Teachers, including Mary de Pinho, say they're not surprised Lagarde is in such an influential position. De Pinho taught at the school for 35 years and remembers Lagarde when she came to the U.S. from France and enrolled as a senior at the school in 1974."She was an uncommonly mature teenager. She was sophistica...
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Tyrell Garrett, a 15-year-old from Browne Education Campus in northeast D.C. says there's a lot of misinformation about sex among his friends."I've been hearing kids saying they use two condoms or something like that so they won’t have a baby," says Tyrell. "Another one is like, the girls stand on their head, and they won’t have no baby if they stand on their head. I don’...
WAMU 88.5
Kristen Lombardi is a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News, which compiled the report. She says three of these aging schools are on the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. At one, Russell Elementary, "students endure relic air units that often break, busted water pipes, no fully accessible bathrooms," she says....
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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot described the report as the first of its kind in the nation to gauge how a canceled season would affect revenues in state and local governments.Maryland is home to the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins, who play in Landover. The study estimated that each cancelled home game of the Redskins or Ravens could result in a $2 million los...
WAMU 88.5
The landmark civil rights law requires jurisdictions in Virginia and other mostly southern states to obtain federal approval any time they change voting laws and procedures. The law is designed to protect minority rights at the ballot box.Jurisdictions can sue to be exempt if they can prove a clean recent history regarding voting discrimination. Manassas Park filed suit earlier...
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Getting the right help to special needs studentsIt's a long running question in public education: how do you best serve children who are struggling?That's the issue Hayley Steffan addressed in the Teach for America challenge. She taught students with special needs in Community Academy Public Charter School. She says the school system assigns teachers to schools based o...
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Youth advocates are estimating that there are cuts of approximately $17 million to summer programs. That means that up to 15,000 more young people will be without structured programs during the hot summer months compared to last year, leaving them vulnerable to negative influences and with no chance to catch up academically.Cuts to programs that provide a safe space...
WAMU 88.5
In order to close a $188 million dollar budget shortfall in 2011, summer youth programs have been cut. Nonprofit leaders estimate as many as 15,000 students will not have summer activities they would have had in the past.Funding for what are called "enrichment activities," including camps and field trips has been reduced, as well as the number of spots available in summer schoo...