The week ahead: college tuition, Republican mojo, gun control

Thank heavens January is over. You never realize how long a month it is until you’re in it, and then it seems endless. But I hope we helped keep people informed and engaged as they tried to stay warm.

The MPR pledge drive starts on Wednesday, so you’ll be hearing a fair amount of previously broadcast material on the Daily Circuit. But before the drive starts we have some interesting shows coming up. On Monday at 9, we’ll follow up on an interesting article by Derek Thompson of The Atlantic. He argues that the debate over college tuition is doing a disservice to smart kids from disadvantaged backgrounds by keeping them from applying to some of the country’s best colleges. Getting these students into selective institutions, he writes, should be a national ambition, and many of these schools can offer the type of financial assistance that would make them cheaper than some community colleges. Then at 10, we’ll discuss how the GOP can get its mojo back, and at 11 you’ll hear Kerri’s conversation with science fiction writer Margaret Atwood. Like a 21st century Charles Dickens, she’s writing her new novel “Positron” in installments on the website Byliner.

On Tuesday at 9, we’ll continue the series of conversations we’ve been having about gun control. State representative Michael Paymar, chair of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committe, is planning to introduce gun control legislation this legislative session, so we’ll speak with him about his bill, and we’ll also look at the success rates of gun laws in other states. Then at 10, a discussion with documentary film maker Michael Apted about his new film “56 Up,” the latest installment in a series of films documenting the lives of a group of 7 year-olds in Britain (the subjects are now all age 56). And at 11, we’ll look at the decline of families and the rise of people living alone, and what those trends means for society.

Until then, try to stay warm, and please send us your ideas for discussions you’d like to hear on The Daily Circuit.