Teach Us All

80 min. and 57 min. Video Project. 2017. $125. ISBN Not avail.
This political documentary brings attention to the inequalities in today's education system by focusing on three case studies: Little Rock, AK; New York City; and California. The film begins by revisiting Little Rock and incorporating historical footage with recent interviews with two of the nine students, the Little Rock Nine, who enrolled in Central High School in 1957, and a visit to the school today. The New York City segment focuses on the Park Slope Collegiate public school and features an interview with principal Jill Bloomberg and parent Melissa Moskowitz. Her child was one of 10 white students who chose to attend the grades six to 12 school. It is noteworthy that he is the only one of the 10 who chose to stay on in high school. In California, the filmmakers revisit the groundbreaking 1947 Mendez v. Westminster case. Throughout, the film presents much that is wrong with today's education with very little positivity. However, the film is captivating and fast-paced. Historical footage is expertly interwoven with scenes from today, making it relevant and timely. The film's message of "real change happens when the people who need it, lead it" is loud and clear. Balance this film with a positive view of public education and viewers may be inspired to take action.
VERDICT A powerful overview suitable for education and library science studies and as a discussion starter for public libraries.

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