“Race to Nowhere” is a documentary that has been talked about, but has not been widely advertised like “Waiting for Superman” was earlier this year. From what I’ve heard, “Race to Nowhere” is the documentary that gets at the heart of the issue with regard to what’s happening in our nation’s public schools. Here’s a synopsis of the film from the RacetoNowhere.com:
Featuring the heartbreaking stories of young people in all types of communities who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren’t developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what’s best for their kids, Race to Nowhere points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.
“Race to Nowhere” is supposed to be a call to action for educators, policy makers, and parents to do something about the over-testing that is pervading our schools today. If you’re one of those teachers who says you spend too much time teaching to the test, then this documentary is for you. If you wish you could spend more time teaching kids how to read and write, rather than how to read multiple choice questions and answer written prompts, then this documentary is for you. If you long for the day that assessments will help drive your instruction, rather than stifle it, then this documentary is for you.
There are screenings around the country, but the documentary isn’t being show everywhere. Therefore, if you go online and find that “Race to Nowhere” isn’t being shown anywhere near your hometown, then I implore you to work with people you know to bring the documentary to your community. (I found some like-minded people here in Central Pennsylvania who organized a screening in late February. Now, rather than having to drive to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh to view this film, people in Midstate PA can travel a short distance to watch this film and listen to a panel discussion about the high-stress testing culture that has penetrated into nearly all aspects of public education.) Bringing “Race to Nowhere” to your community in 2011 is one way you can start a dialogue to help others determine where and what we’re running towards ever since standardized testing has been forced upon us and the children we teach.
Here’s the trailer:
I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).
I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.