RSVP for "Testing Season," fourth event in The School Project series

The School Project, a collaboratively-made transmedia documentary series about public education, hosts its fourth event on Tuesday, March 31st at 5:00pm at the the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center.

RSVP now to attend for free and see the world premiere of the episode Testing Season followed by a discussion moderated by Linda Lenz of Catalyst Chicago. Panelists will include community leaders, educators, and education experts.

Testing Season, a 10-minute film, explores the hot topic of high stakes school testing from the boycotts of 2013 to the implementation of the PARCC test rolling out this spring, and the grassroots movement to end "teaching to the test" in Illinois and around the country.The segment will launch simultaneously on the interactive website

The School Project series examines the interrelated issues that are affecting Chicago Public Schools right now and helps to define terms and dispel misinformation about the context of public education. This is the first series to gather so many voices of the major public figures of education in Chicago: Terry Mazany, Karen Lewis, Mike Koldyke, Andrea Zopp, Linda Lutton, Elaine Allensworth, Linda Lenz, David Vitale, Jitu Brown, and Diane Ravitch, along with many parents, teachers and students whose voices are seldom heard. Future segments will look at the expansion of charter schools and the history of reforms and educational models, while the first three were about education reform in Chicago in the 1980s, the Chicago School Closings of 2013, and the consequences of harsh disciplinary measures. The series examines the roots of these issues and how each policy impacts the wider school community in Chicago and its implications on a national level. The first three segments premiered to sold-out crowds in October of 2014, January of 2015, and March 2015. This is the fourth in a series of six live, free public events, premiering new installments of The School Project over the 2014-2015 school year.

The School Project co-production partners include Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, and producers Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Outreach partners include WTTW/Channel 11, the Chicago Sun-Times, Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago History Museum,, CANTV, StoryCorps, and Community Media Workshop.

The interactive website,, allows visitors to watch the documentary and see how it maps to the Chicago Public Schools system. Users can explore news media and content related to individual schools, data trends and demographics, and share their stories and opinions about public school education.
Chicago’s PBS station WTTW will also broadcast each segment during their flagship “Chicago Tonight” News Program, and the Sun-Times, and Catalyst Chicago will contribute additional web-based content.

The School Project has also partnered with StoryCorps, the national oral history organization, to record and share the personal stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs about public education. Interested people of all ages can make a reservation online ( to record their story at a recording studio located at the Chicago Cultural Center. These stories will be shared online at, and archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The School Project Timeline
October 28, 2014: Chicago Schools - The Worst in the Nation?
Chicago History Museum

January 22, 2015: Chicago's School Closings
University of Chicago Logan Center

March 5, 2015: The Impact of School Discipline Policies
North Lawndale College Prep Collins Campus

March 31, 2015: A Testing Season
Chicago Cultural Center

April 25, 2015: Charter Schools: For Better or Worse
Chicago Cultural Center

May 2015: Effective Education in Neighborhood Schools
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