Written April 17, 2012
Bob Lamothe has assembled a very interesting, probing film that gives voice primarily to teachers to discuss and expose the disturbing disinformation propagated about schools and teachers by many so-called education 'reformers.' Dozens of teachers, joined by a few others (disclosure: myself too), talk about the pernicious impact of standardized testing on curriculum, instruction, student well-being, student and teacher morale, school climate and more. The teachers are often eloquent, commonly insightful, always informative.
The movies shifts from a discussion of the impact of testing to a critical analysis of corporate and big foundation (e.g., Gates) influence on - or domination over - school 'reform,' and the role of charter schools as vehicles of damage to public education.
The focus is on Massachusetts, so some particulars may not apply elsewhere, but most of the issues are common across the US due to the fallout from the NCLB-fostered testing explosion.