Monday, October 25, 2010

Race to Nowhere - MUST See Documentary

I have viewed the documentary 'Race to Nowhere'. Now, I'm telling everyone I can think of because we HAVE to help our children. Parents and educators MUST SEE this documentary that talks about the dark side of America's achievement culture.

This remarkable new film shines a light on the price young people pay for this 'race to nowhere.' High-stakes testing has replaced meaningful teaching and learning. Cheating is commonplace. Stress-related illness, depression, and burnout are rampant. Many young people arrive to college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired. Become a part of the grassroots phenomenon that is feeding a groundswell for change.

Watching this movie made me happy our son attends the school he does and made me wish every school in America and Canada would put learning - not memorizing and not teaching to the test - at the front and center of their curriculum. School should be a place of learning, fun, and where creativity and expression run rampant. School should not be the source of stress and anxiety for elementary school children! And not a place where cheating and stress are the norm for high school children.

Attend a screening of 'Race to Nowhere' in your community. In Chicago, Daystar School has a screening on Tuesday, October 26 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available for purchase online at: for $10 (plus $1.54 svc fee) or at the door $15. The documentary is rated PG-13 and is not suitable for young children. 

If your city does NOT have a screening of this film planned, talk to your child's principal or your religious group. Screening information is available at This is a MUST SEE documentary that everyone should see if they are a parent or educator.


Crystal Strickler said...

Thanks for sharing the information. Unfortunately, I cannot make it but definitely plan on watching it when it comes on video. It is so true though about our education and how there is so much pressure and stress on students. When I substitute taught 9-10 years ago before coming to Chicago, cheating was rampant, stress levels were high, and the kids lacked motivation to do anything fun b/c of the pressure put on them by the school and their parents. This was huge especially in the more "well-off" schools of students who were trying to get into top colleges. The kids knew that if they didn't pass their spelling/vocab/math/whatever test and did not get that "A" they were doomed. i have never seen so many creative ways of cheating (answers written on converse shoes, binders, note cards slipped underneath the desk). Hopefully, this movie will give those in the education system a wake up call.

Felicity said...

Just wondering. Does this documentary make you feel less stressed about getting kids into the best schools and colleges? I mean, does it take any pressure off of that particular cultural mindset? I think kids are naturally learners and we tend to push them into programs with great reputations and names but not necessarily the best fit for our kids' natural learning styles. Maybe the documentary focuses elsewhere. I'll have to wait for the DVD - I live in the country, remember! : )


Crystal, the documentary addresses exactly what you observed (and more). There is stress among the poor set as well as they know that if they don't get top grades, they won't get the scholarships they need to be able to afford college.

Felicity, I think what the documentary does is help you to understand what is going on, how it started, and what needs to be changed. The goal of the documentary is to create a grassroots movement to cause change across the country. Felicity, you can bring the documentary to your neck of the woods. Got to and click on 'schedule a screening'. All you need is 50 people to show up who pay $10 each.

I'm looking forward to viewing it again tonight.