Friday, June 11, 2010

The Lottery - Looks like another interesting movie on education and politics

The Lottery is the second of three documentaries I've heard about on education and Politics:

It could be an interesting summer.

(Hat tip: The Heritage Foundation / Instapundit)

Technorati tags: children, education, government schools, children, public school, public education


Mia Munn said...

I attended the showing of the documentary The Lottery June 8 when it was screened in theaters nationwide. It is about 4 families in Harlem who are trying to get their kids into a successful charter school.

The movie starts with some devastating facts: the average African-American or Latino 12th grader has the skills of the average white 8th grader. 58% of African-American 4th graders are functionally illiterate.

Several scenes focus on supporters of a traditional public school that is slated to be closed for low performance (37% of 5th grade students on grade level in reading) fighting to keep a charter school from moving into that school building, including one mother screaming "over my dead body", and crowds wearing ACORN shirts or UFT hats complaining that the charter school was disrespecting them. The school they were protesting, Promise Academy 2 had 100% of 3rd graders on grade level in reading, and 97% in math.

The four families, all living in Harlem, desperately hoping their children can attend one of the Harlem Children's Zone charter schools:
- a married couple with 2 young sons, dad a bus driver, mom studying to be a teacher
- a college-educated mom raising her son alone while her husband is in prison
- an older man, an immigrant from West Africa, raising his son alone while his wife waits 4 years to get a visa to immigrate legally from Ivory Coast
- a deaf woman, raising her daughter alone in an almost bare apartment

One is selected in the lottery, one gets in from the waiting list before school starts, the other two, disappointed, say they will apply again next year. It was heartbreaking.

Nationwide, there are 365,000 students on waiting lists for charter schools, hoping to win the admissions lottery. As Cory Booker, democratic mayor of Newark, NJ says, "A child's destiny should not be determined by the pull of a draw."

Henry Cate said...

Thanks for the details on the movie. It sounds good.

It doesn't look like the movie will be playing near me, so I gave them my email address to notify me when it is available to buy. If it is reasonable I'll probably buy it.