Race to Nowhere
This fall is fast becoming the season of the education documentary.
Waiting for Superman, The Lottery, The Cartel, and Race to Nowhere provide four different takes on the current state of U.S. education.
In the case of Race to Nowhere
(www.racetonowhere.com), however, the filmmakers wanted to move the conversation about schools beyond the movie theaters and into schools, classrooms, and homes. To that end, they have produced a Facilitation Guide to accompany the film. ASCD's Executive Director Gene Carter agreed to write the foreword to the guide, not only because the film fits with ASCD's commitment to the Whole Child (www.wholechildeducation.org) and Healthy School Communities (www.healthyschoolcommunities.org), but more particularly because of the film's commitment to ongoing dialogue.
As Carter wrote,
Challenges, when discovered, need to be addressed. Problems, when they arise, need to be solved. This is never so true as when we are talking about our children—their health, their growth, their education, and their development. It is not enough to alert people to issues and then walk away. It is not enough to uncover problems and then neglect to work through them. It is not enough to lay blame and then move on.
It is time for educators, families, students, businesses, service providers, policymakers, and community members to collectively commit to excellence in health, safety, engagement, and learning for each child; time to tell the truth about the toll exacted by over scheduled, over pressured young lives (as dangerous as the more frequently discussed underscheduled, under pressured experiences of others); time to set aside traditional emphasis on winning at all costs to define instead the conditions for learning and development that support long-term college, career, and civic success. Only through transparent dialogue and meaningful conversation with all parties concerned are we able to truly get at the heart of an issue.
What happens to our children today affects all of us tomorrow. Our future demands better. Our children deserve better. Please join ASCD, the gifted artists responsible for Race to Nowhere, and all those who care about the education of children in dialogue about how to ensure each child, in each of our schools, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Screenings and follow-up discussions are taking place this fall across the United States and internationally.
Resources for "Closing Opportunity Gaps"
How to Support Struggling Students. (2010). By Robyn R. Jackson and Claire Lambert. Stock No. 110073. Price: $16.95 (member); $21.95 (nonmember).
Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. (2009). By Eric Jensen. Stock No. 109074. Price: $18.95 (member); $23.95 (nonmember).
Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life. (2009). By Baruti K. Kafele. Stock No. 109013. Price: $12.95 (member); $16.95 (nonmember).
Preventing Early Learning Failure. (2001). By Bob Sornson. Stock No. 101003. Price: $19.95 (member); $23.95 (nonmember).
Teaching with Poverty in Mind DVD Series: Elementary and Secondary. (2010). Two 30-minute DVDs, each with a professional development program. Stock No. 610135. Price: $219 (member); $289 (nonmember).
Due to a proofing error, the October 2010 article "The Why Behind RTI" incorrectly stated on page 15 that "Intervention is most effective when the interventions are timely, structured, and not mandatory." The word not is incorrect. The statement should read, "Intervention is most effective when the interventions are timely, structured, and mandatory." Educational Leadership
regrets the mistake.
A correct version is available at
and in our digital edition at