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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

‘Teach Us All’ troubles activists

Teach Us All, a documentary on school integration, “troubles some activists,” writes Chalkbeat’s Christina Veiga.

The movie highlights integration efforts in Los Angeles and in New York City, including the work of IntegrateNYC, a student-led movement.

. . . Among other issues, the film briefly features Eva Moskowitz, the controversial leader of Success Academy charter schools, who is fiercely opposed by many supporters of the city’s traditional public schools. . . . The film also dives into the case of Vergara v. California, which argued, ultimately unsuccessfully, that teacher tenure laws disproportionately place ineffective teachers in schools that serve mainly black and Hispanic students. “It was blaming the unions in California for students not getting an equal education,” said Gonzales, who was a teacher in Los Angeles at the time of the case.

The movie, which starts with the Little Rock Nine integrating an Arkansas high school in 1957, is “distributed by the collective founded by Ava DuVernay — the award-winning filmmaker behind the Civil Rights-era drama Selma and the documentary 13th,” notes Veiga.

Netflix released the documentary in September.

Academic segregation, which often looks like racial segregation, is expanding in New York City’s district-run schools, reports Chalkbeat. “A small percentage of schools drain off the top students, leaving the majority of schools with very few students entering on grade-level.”

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