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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Not a hero, not a hack

The documentary Teacher of the Year showcases a North Carolina social studies teacher who’s neither a hack nor a hero, writes Andrew Simmons in The Atlantic.

Raleigh high school teachers Rob Phillips and Jay Korreck made their colleague Angie Scioli the star of their movie, which premiered this week at Wake Forest University.

“To suck the public in,” the movie starts by establishing Scioli as a good teacher, she tells Simmons. “Then in the second part of the movie, you learn that half my fourth-period class is failing, my value-added test scores are terrible, and the event I organized, Pridefest, is not a success.”

Scioli didn’t know why her students had scored so badly, so she didn’t change her teaching. The next year, with the same sort of students, her value-added scores made her “one of the best teachers in the state according to the data,” she tells Simmons. “One year, one of the worst, according to the value-added measure, and now one of best, all without changing a thing.”

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