Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card
Do you enjoy horror movies as much as I do? I mean films that chill you to the bone and shock your system? Then you'll love the new HBO's documentary Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card, the story of Frederick Douglas High School's class of '05.
If you caught season 4 of The Wire (set in a Baltimore inner city school) you'll find much of this territory familiar. If anything, the show painted a rosier picture than the reality, most probably because the truth would have seemed too implausible.
At times you may want to reach through the screen and hug these teachers and student advisors for their perseverance and courage - but you'll want to rail against others who enable failure, teaching kids to grasp for creative excuses to hang their failures on.
Those few students that made their way in triumph through this boiling labyrinth are to be greatly admired.
I guess I can't say too much about this production; Baltimore's inner city is so far removed from my experience, years of living on the east side of LA aside. The end of the picture brings no resolution, as if one were to be expected, only new questions and a yearning for a follow-up.
Don't miss heartbreaking, devastating documentary - trust me, you'll feel so much better about your local schools.
Here's more from the press release:
The No Child Left Behind Act was created to boost academic levels of American schoolchildren by setting standardized goals across the nation – and holding states, districts and schools accountable for performance. For urban schools in high-poverty areas, reaching these goals has proven to be a daunting task, and many now face the real possibility of being taken over by the state – or being shut down altogether.
Produced and directed by Oscar-winners Alan and Susan Raymond, Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card reveals troubles and triumphs in the classrooms, hallways and offices of Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, MD – from the celebrations of drum lines and debate teams to the worries of faculty who know that 50% of their freshman will not return for their sophomore year. This immersive documentary cautions that education is inevitably an achievement of people, not policy.
Check out sneak peek clips of “Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card” on Dailymotion.
Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card premieres this Monday, June 23 at 9 p.m. – only on HBO.