Thursday, October 9, 2014

The School Project Documentary Is Coming & We Might Be In It! #theschoolproject

"The School Project" is coming! My 11 year old daughter, Sage, and her teacher and I were all interviewed for the series along with many more parents, students and educators. We could have ended up on the cutting room floor, but regardless of whether we're in the final cut, these issues are HUGELY IMPORTANT and merit a look. Check it out.

The first of six School Project segments, “Worst In The Nation?” will address Chicago’s grassroots, education reform efforts of the late 1980s, which were already building at the time then-U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett bestowed the notorious “worst in the nation” title on the city’s schools. The segment will also explore why the phrase has been re-quoted for three decades, and what the city can do to get rid of that title for good.  There will be a panel & q&a after the screening, moderated by veteran news journalist Carol Marin.  The conversation will concentrate on  the city of Chicago’s reform efforts from the mid-1980s through today.

The School Project is a six-part series of 10-minute segments.  The series’ interactive website will launch simultaneously at  Co-production partners include Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, and producers Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Outreach partners include WTTW/Channel 11, the Chicago Sun-Times, Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago History Museum and

Other segments in the series will look at local perspectives on the recent mass school closings in Chicago, the expansion of charter schools, the controversy surrounding standardized testing, school discipline policies, and the history of reforms and educational models. The series examines the roots of these issues and how each policy impacts the wider school community in Chicago and its implications on a national level. 

The interactive website,, will allow visitors to watch the documentary and see how it maps to the Chicago Public Schools system. Users can explore news media and content related to individual schools, data trends and demographics, and share their stories and opinions about public school education.

Chicago’s PBS station WTTW will also broadcast each segment during their flagship “Chicago Tonight” News Program, and the Sun-Times, and Catalyst Chicago will contribute additional web-based content.

Follow the series at:

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