"Farenheit No Child Left Behind"

Based on two short trailers, "NCLB: The Movie"seems both embarassingly propagandistict and moderately provocative.

The premise and purpose of the movie is very Farenheit 9/11:
"After spending a year as a student teacher in a New York City elementary school, documentary filmmaker Lerone Wilson explores the effects of President Bush's momentous No Child Left Behind Act on schools across the country."
The most embarrasingly obvious parts include staged readings by students about test anxiety and not wanting to be held back in 3rd grade (not a part of NCLB). There's the ominous ringing of church bells in the background. There are some of the same old mistaken tirades about lack of funding and the miracle grow of choice and competition.

But Reggie Weaver and Amy Wilkins both get a sound bite. And the filmmaker (age 23) has reportedly made changes to try and ensure the documentary is more balanced.

You can view the trailers among other places at Shut Up And Teach. But School of Rock or that Harlem ballrooming dancing movie might be better choices if you're looking for insight and entertainment.


Anonymous Kate said...

It sounds fascinating. Even my conservative parents, who are both public school teachers, wish NCLB would just go away. It does nothing but keep all students on one level and prevent the more intelligent children from growing and being challenged.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Joe Thomas said...

Way off on your assessment based on the trailers, AR, although understandable. My copy of the DVD came in the mail today. I just finished it.

The readings by the children (which I do think were pieces they wrote) did seem a prologue to a harsh critique of the federal mandates. Instead, the video provided a look at what NCLB looked like at the local level.

It was far from a puff piece for the anti-NCLB crowd (of which I am a proud member). It offered a mulititude of views.

1:17 AM  

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