Democracy Left Behind
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How effectively do our public schools prepare students for active participation in democratic society? Is there a relationship between an often ill-informed public and the manner in which social and political issues are addressed in our nation's classrooms?
Democracy Left Behind examines the impact of "No Child Left Behind" on the ability of schools to serve a civic mission demonstrating how difficult it is now for many students to understand what their education means in the larger context of the society and world they inhabit.
Filmed in a broad cross-section of economically and culturally diverse schools, including provocative interviews with teachers, administrators, and nationally known experts, Democracy Left Behind shows why learning to become an active and knowledgeable citizen should be an integral part of learning basic educational skills such as reading and math, rather than something only too easily forgotten in the pursuit of higher test scores.
"In this brilliantly vivid film, replete with colorful characters and kids, Bob Gliner asks whether No Child Left Behind advances or impedes our democratic impulse. No matter what your politics or starting values, this film will be eye opening and richly informative."
Bruce Fuller, Professor Education and Public Policy, UC Berkeley
"Democracy Left Behind captures the challenges and opportunities of civic education in an environment where national accountability structures place primary emphasis on reading and math. The video raises a number of profound questions about maintaining one of the fundamental purposes our nation's founders had in mind in envirisioning a system of public schools in the first place: to develop informed citizens."
Patrick Phillips, Executive Director, Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools
"Anyone concerned about the future of our democratic society and our public schools should watch "Democracy left Behind". It exposes the devastating impact the No Child Left Behind law has had by narrowing the curriculum for our children."
Director, Education Policy and Practice
"Democracy Left Behind reminds us of what the central mission of public education is -- developing in the young the habits of heart and mind that democracy requires. This film will foster discussion and hopefully action on the part of all who see it."
Director, The Forum for Education and Democracy
"Democracy Left Behind provides valuable insights into both the harmful consequences for education and democracy of the federal No Child Left Behind Law and rich educational practices in which students learn democracy by practicing it."
"The film's depiction of the deep-seated damage done by NCLB is relieved by inspiring glimpses of classrooms where students' learning is embedded in issues impacting their own communities. One comes away with rage at the political meddling and optimism about what teachers and students can do."