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TAG: education

Teachers Beat the “Macho Culture” in Prisons through Art Programs

In the early 2000s, Hollywood invested in the urban fairy tale where a teacher is called into the principal’s office of a school in a low-income, broken part of town and is requested to help “build character and morale.” (Think Samuel L. Jackson in Coach Carter, Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead and Hilary Swank … READ MORE

Principal Vonda Viland and 10 of the Most Unforgettable “Bad Kids”

The following is by Vonda Viland, principal of Black Rock Continuation High School in Yucca Valley in California’s Mojave Desert, and subject of the new film The Bad Kids, which premieres on Independent Lens March 20 at 10pm [check local listings]. Viland’s tireless work to help at-risk teenagers find their way to graduation is reflected both … READ MORE

A Letter from Jose Ansaldo and an Update from Oscar Ramos

UPDATE (2/7/17): News courtesy of East of Salinas filmmaker Laura Pacheco, teacher Oscar Ramos was just awarded the Cesar Chavez Human Rights Award! Our hearty congrats to Mr. Ramos on the well-deserved honor. #Cesar Chavez Human Rights Award Winner! Props to Oscar Ramos for his inspiration and commitment. pic.twitter.com/nvPsYopxjX — EAST OF SALINAS (@EastofSalinas) February 8, 2017 … READ MORE

The Graduates: America’s Graduation Report Cards

In conjunction with the broadcast premiere of The Graduates on Independent Lens (part two, the “boys hour,” airs Monday November 4 and you can catch part one online on PBS), we created a couple of handy infographics as seen below.

The Graduates: Where Are the Girls Now?

After watching The Graduates (Los Graduados) [airing on PBS in two parts, tonight October 28 and November 4], you — like those of us here at Independent Lens — will no doubt be curious as to what the students featured in the film are up to now.  Straight from the film’s producers, we’ve already received an update, and in some cases … READ MORE

“I’m Graduating/I Graduated Because…”

The Graduates/Los Graduados offers a first-hand perspective of the challenges facing many Latino high school students. While you’ll be hearing from the six students in the film itself (which premieres on PBS Monday, October 28 and concludes November 4), we also want to hear from you — any student past or present. Here’s how it works: … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: Skipping Up

Last, but certainly not least, in our mini-festival of American Graduate short films, is Skipping Up, directed by Jim Mendiola and Faith Radle. Set primarily in Mark Twain Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, Skipping Up follows a group of eighth graders as they finish their year in the Middle School Partners Program, a new and … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: Immigrant High

Our American Graduate short film festival continues with Immigrant High, a film by Xochitl Dorsey. [Go here for more on the American Graduate films.] Immigrant teens find face discrimination, language barriers, unfamiliar cultural traditions — while dealing with the changes all teens struggle with. Many give up on school. Immigrant High takes us into the halls … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: I Really Want to Make It

We continue our look at the American Graduate shorts with I Really Want to Make It, a film by Ray Telles and Angela Reginato. Sharon Montano of Oakland decides to go back to school at age 20 after several years of substance abuse and other struggles. When she discovers Civicorps Academy, where she meets other young people who have … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: Can’t Hold Me Back

Our “mini-festival” of American Graduate shorts continues with Can’t Hold Me Back, directed by Betty Bastidas and Madeleine Bair. Detroit teen Fernando Parraz, an accomplished rapper and budding filmmaker, aims to become the first in his family to earn a high school diploma — his ticket out of the struggles of inner-city poverty and violence. He … READ MORE

The 2013 Audience Award Goes to…

After a tight and active race, Independent Lens voters have spoken: The winner of the 2013 Independent Lens Audience Award is The Revisionaries. Scott Thurman’s “well-made dispatch from a long war” [The New York Times] about the tempest over Texas textbook revisions was called both “alarming [and] hilarious” by Salon.com‘s Andrew O’Hehir, and audiences seem to … READ MORE