Race to Nowhere

Race to Nowhere, May 5 screening at River Oaks Elementary

The film “Race to Nowhere,” zooms in on a different perspective of our educational system. Instead of probing how low-income families and under-represented students can gain access to superior academic environments, this film examines the trade-offs for our national obsession with school success: student stress, teacher burnout and tired, uninspired college freshmen.

In our own house, Thing One developed a severe case of senior-itis in December. Within a few months, the student who had been at the top of every class and kept an almost-OCD neat room, was grounded for “being a slob” in a household that tolerates a wide margin of messiness, and sported the second of two B’s in an otherwise straight-A honors courses mid-term report card.*

This scenario could just as easily describe either of Thing One’s parents in their senior year of high school; it happens to most of us. But Race to Nowhere is suggesting that something much worse than senior-itis is afflicting more students than just those in their final throes of high school.  It is a fear of failure, of being less than stellar. “If I can’t fail, and make mistakes, then how can I be expected to learn?” one student in the film laments.

The Houston screening for the film will be held in two weeks. See for yourself what chasing after academic recognition looks and feels like on the inside.

Race to Nowhere – Houston screening
Thursday, May 5, 2011 – 7:00pm
River Oaks Elementary School
2008 Kirby Drive

*To be fair to Thing One, this National Merit Finalist was admitted via early decision to Rice University in mid-December, so perhaps a little slacking off was warranted.

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About carlynchatfield

Work: IT Technical Communications Manager. Alma Mater: SHSU, go kats! Hometown: Galena Park. Current class: COMM 300. Married, 2 teens
This entry was posted in Comm300, Education, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Race to Nowhere

  1. Sonny says:

    Carlyn, what do you think about Children at Risk’s rankings?

    http://childrenatrisk.org/research/school-rankings/houston/

  2. I am unfairly biased towards underdogs; for example, I always rooted for the Indians to win in the old Western movies my family watched on TV. Children at Risk is a good web site with good information. Based on their full rankings,
    http://childrenatrisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2011-Greater-Houston-School-Rankings-FINAL.xlsx, only one of the four schools my two teens have attended in the last 11-12 years is included in the top 10 for 2011. Our elementary school is #295 of 313 and one of our current high schools is #136 of 145, but those rankings don’t bother me at all. As long as my kids feel safe and are getting the basics from engaged teachers, as long as there are opportunities for exceptional students to excel (honors classes), that is good enough for me. But we are a middle-class, dual-income family and we supplement that basic education with Internet access at home, learning software applications for the computer, thought-provoking dinner conversations, trips to plays, musicals and museums, and we listen to audio books in the car. As a result, one child was accepted to Rice and the other is probably headed to Trinity University. The top 10 lists are most helpful for families who can’t supplement a basic public education with their own resources.

  3. simba3230 says:

    Very interesting. I wish I were still in town to see it. Education really is the key to someone’s future. And its our job to make sure children are prepared on these missions. We learned about the KIPP program when entering at O-WEEK this year. Seems like that is really making a difference.

    David C

  4. Pingback: 1910 is good enough | Buffalo Bayou Mom

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