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I Will See You One Waiting for Superman and Raise You One Race to Nowhere

Okay, bear in mind this movie does not have what Waiting for Superman had: the millions in foundation funding to support its promotion, nor a major broadcast network that devoted a week about K-12 education centered around it.

But hey, how many documentary films gets a $2 million foundation grant for its promotion? (The answer is that most don’t have a $2 million budget for anything!)>

Well, today I present to you, unlike Waiting for Superman, a documentary about education where nothing has been staged!

Race to Nowhere.

Of course, this is the perfect juxtaposition with my previous blog about the the world beating scores registered by Shanghai students on PISA (Program for International Student Assessment).

So, what’s emerging here? Those who are very high on high-stakes accountability, will surely deride this film as being against rigor, another swipe at failed progressive notions in education.

Yet, parents, social workers, psychologists, and many others are distressed by an education driven by high stakes, one that leaves little time for the whole child.

Perhaps we should call high stakes accountability a partial child approach.

While I would like to say, of course, the fact is it’s not a matter of course that everyone would see that there must be a balance. A balanced curriculum, a balanced approach to the stake at hand, a balance that takes into account the needs of the whole child.

I am glad to see this film come forth and hope that it helps to leaven the dialogue and policies of “school reform” today.

an ArtsJournal blog