I have been waiting to see this film for a while now. It won the Audience Award for the best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and when you see it you will know why. The stories in this documentary are so moving I still find myself thinking about some of the students the film featured days later and I hope that they are on the right track.
The film opened in New York and L.A. back in September so I got it once it came out on DVD at Redbox-- one of the best inventions of our time!!
|Daisy-- Wants to be a surgeon AND a Veterinarian|
The film follows some young students in different parts of the country who have so much promise but they have schools and teachers that are failing them. Most of the students come from low income families who don't have the option to send them to better schools. The students live in areas where they are destined to attend high schools labeled as "dropout factories" (meaning schools with a senior class made up of 60% or fewer of the kids who entered as freshmen). From those high schools even fewer of them will be prepared for four year colleges because of the inadequate education that they received.
I really liked how the film focused on the fact that it doesn't matter what kind of background you come from, kids from disadvantaged backgrounds can end up doing better in school that people who can afford pay for a first class education. It takes a lot of work, good teachers, people who care, and holding kids accountable for their education.
Some of the stats were amazing too:
Out of the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States now ranks 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading on the Program for International Student Assessment. Shanghai, however, ranks first across the board. reference
In Illinois, where one in 57 doctors loses his medical license and one in 97 lawyers loses his law license, only one in 2,500 teachers loses his credentials, because of union rules. referenceI don't want to give too much away because I think this film is really worth watching but when you do watch it little Anthony's story really caught my attention and I was actually bawling at the end when they do the lotteries.
|Anthony-- one of the students featured|
It made me think of my good friend Kait, who is about to graduate and start teaching. I know that she will be one of those exceptional teachers and I am so proud of her. She really cares about the kids that she has been working with and I know that she has already made a difference in the lives of those kids!
|Francisco! So cute!|
I know that we all have people in our lives that we want the absolute best for so you don't have to be a parent to care about this issue. I'm even still looking in to it and there is a lot of controversy about all of the topics which I will not disregard.
Here's the trailer for the film: