April 1, 2015 6:44 am
The School Project, a collaboratively-made transmedia documentary series about public education, has released its fourth episode. Testing Season 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 http://www.schoolprojectfilm.com.
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, Ebony.com, CANTV, StoryCorps, and Community Media Workshop.
The interactive website, www.schoolprojectfilm.com, 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.