Education documentary followed by discussion - The Explorer: El Sol

Education documentary followed by discussion

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:00 am

St. Gregory College Preparatory School will host a screening of the documentary film “Race to Nowhere” Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with education experts. Both will take place in the school’s Donald R. Nickerson Theatre of the Arts, 3231 N. Craycroft Road.

It is the only southern Arizona screening of the film to date, and part of hundreds of screenings around the nation that are drawing the attention of concerned parents and  educators.

The New York Times calls “Race to Nowhere” a “must-see movie,’’ and the Washington Post declares it “an educational film that gets it.’’

In “Race to Nowhere,” a concerned mother turned filmmaker aims her camera at the high-stakes, high-pressure culture that has invaded American schools and children’s lives, creating unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared and stressed-out youth, according to the film’s website.

The film features heartbreaking stories of young people who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and concerned that students aren’t developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what’s best for their kids.

“Race to Nowhere” points to a silent epidemic in our schools that includes widespread cheating, disengaged students, stress-related illness and depression among students and an increase in young adults who arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

Jonathan Martin, St. Gregory’s head of school, said the film “reflects the deeper problems in American education, problems to which we at St. Gregory are striving to correct with an educational approach that is about depth of understanding, critical thinking, and learning authentically, not formulaically.”

Following the screening, six education experts will present a panel discussion, providing insight and taking questions from the audience. The panelists include St. Gregory faculty members Malika Johnson and Michelle Berry, former University of Arizona Provost George Davis; Ann-Eve Pedersen, Board president, Arizona Education Network; Eve Rifkin, principal, City High School in Tucson; and Barry Bedrick, head of St. Michael’s Parish Day School in Tucson.

Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available only online at www.racetonowhere.com/screenings/st-gregory-college-prep-school

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