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Three more upcoming films

September 23, 2010

Race to Nowhere examines the downside of America’s achievement culture, and its ill-effects on children’s health and well-being. (I’m working with a few other folks to host a screening here in Denver; we’ll keep you posted about the where and when!)

Director Vicki Abeles turns the personal political, igniting a national conversation in her new documentary about the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system and culture obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. Featuring the heartbreaking stories of young people across the country who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren’t developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what’s best for their kids, Race to Nowhere points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

Race to Nowhere is a call to mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens.

August to June captures a year in the school life of a joyful public school 3rd/4th grade classroom that emphasizes multiple ways of learning and respect for the whole child.

AUGUST TO JUNE asks viewers to stop and reconsider how we achieve what we really value for our children and society.  That it will look different in different communities is a given.   We cannot legislate how to teach or rely on multiple choice measurements of success.  Give communities well-prepared and supported teachers in schools that are well-equipped and well-staffed, then let those communities create the learning environments best suited to their needs.

The Takeover of Testing is a short (20-minute) film that looks at how the testing and privatization movement is playing out in Chicago, and its consequences for Chicago’s and America’s schools and communities.

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