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.