Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ed reform documentary film recommendations

Following up on my ed reform documentary film recommendations, I forgot to mention TEACHED, which is available online for free at:


TEACHED Volume I is comprised of the first three short films of the TEACHED series: The Path to PrisonThe Blame Game: Teachers Speak Out and Unchartered Territory. Each of these short films addresses topical issues around the American education system, especially those affecting urban youth. They are intended to help communities break through polarized education debates, provoke thoughtful discussion and motivate change around long-standing race and income-based inequities in our public schools.

TEACHED Vol. I won Outstanding Documentary Short Film at the Williamsburg Film Festival and aspecial jury prize for "Spirit of Independence" at the Amsterdam Film Festival. It has received acclaim in the Harvard Political ReviewUSATodayOne Day and other media (see our NEWS section) and was named one of Ten Education Documentaries Not to be Missed by TakePart. 

TEACHED Volume I includes:

The United States now bears the ominous title as the planet's most prolific jailer: with only 5% of the population, we represent 25% of the world's incarcerated. The vast majority of our inmates are illiterate, and an inordinate number are people of color. One young man's story helps explain how so many capable and intelligent youth, especially African-American males, end up behind bars in "the land of the free." (approx. 8 min.)
·         THE BLAME GAME: Teachers Speak Out
The discourse around education reform—especially on issues involving teachers—lacks nuance, thoughtfulness and, often, commonsense. Simplistic "pro-" and "anti-" teacher rhetoric is distracting from efforts to improve teacher quality, especially in schools serving urban, minority children. What do teachers themselves say about the profession and whether it is serving students' needs...not to mention their own? (approx. 17 min.)
Charter school founders are pioneers of education reform, staking their claim by opening new schools in many historically underserved communities. But twenty years after the first charter school opened its doors, many Americans are still confused by what these independently-operated, publicly-funded schools are, and why not all of them are performing well. Was the charter formula wrong? What can the best charter school leaders teach the rest? (running time 16 min.)

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