The Cartel, which opens in New Jersey on Oct. 9, looks at the education crisis and the “powerful, entrenched, and self-serving cartel” that opposes change.
Teachers punished for speaking out. Principals fired for trying to do the right thing. Union leaders defending the indefensible. Bureaucrats blocking new charter schools. These are just some of the people we meet in The Cartel. The film also introduces us to teens who can’t read, parents desperate for change, and teachers struggling to launch stable alternative schools for inner city kids who want to learn. We witness the tears of a little girl denied a coveted charter school spot, and we share the triumph of a Camden homeschool’s first graduating class.
Coming from a different point of view, The Teacher Salary Project is looking for “personal testimonies by and about America’s best teachers” for a feature-length documentary on “the day-to-day lives and sacrifices of public school teachers.”
In keeping with the storytelling styles of both Dave Eggers (writer) and Vanessa Roth (director), The Teacher Salary Project will be a character-driven film, telling moving and compelling stories that explore this urgent issue through humor, irony, and the energy of the teachers who fill the screen.
They’d better change the title.
The Providence Effect, a movie about a Chicago school that educates low-income, black students, is astonishing, writes Donald Douglas. When the Catholic Archdiocese in Chicago decided to close Providence-St. Mel, Principal Paul Adams III raised money to take over Providence-St. Mel.
Providence St. Mel is proud of its tradition of 100% college acceptance, which began in 1978 and continues today. In 2002, 42% of the graduates of 2002 were accepted to top tier/ivy league schools; today more than 50% are accepted to schools of this caliber.
In a Witness LA interview, Adams is asked whether Chicago’s public school leaders come to him for advice on how to run a successful inner-city school. “Actually, no one has come,” he replies.
WLA: What do you mean no one? Like not one person from the Chicago School District has come to visit St. Mel’s?
PA: Never. Not one.
Well, they can watch the movie.