SCHOOL: The PBS Series
Premieres September 3-4, 2001, 9-11 P.M. ET (check local listings)
Series narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep
SCHOOL: The Story of American Public Education, is a dramatic four-part documentary series that chronicles the development of our nations public education system from the late 1770s to the 21st century. Produced by Stone Lantern Films, and presented by KCET/Hollywood, SCHOOL (narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) recaptures the idealism of the early proponents of public education and continues with an unflinching look at the experiments and challenges that contribute to the climate in the classroom today. For episode descriptions and video clips, visit the program descriptions in this section.
Ten years in the making, SCHOOL journeys through history and across the nation, weaving archival footage, on-site coverage, rare interviews and expert commentary into an unprecedented portrait of Americas great education experiment.
Vivid images throughout the series bring history to life as they recall our collective experience from drafty, one-room schoolhouses where the switch was applied as liberally as the golden rule, to classrooms flooded with turn-of-the century immigrants, eager to take part in the American dream; from a rural Texas high school where determined Mexican American teenagers revolutionized the curriculum, to an East Harlem neighborhood, where a bold experiment transformed a bottom-rung school district into a top-flight example.
Designed to place todays issues into historical context, SCHOOL takes viewers on a 200-year journey, from colonial times to the present, in four chronological episodes. Throughout the series are interviews with witnesses, both famous and relatively unknown, who play key roles in public educations dramatic story. Leading experts in education history also lend their insights to each episode of SCHOOL, illuminating the issues and their implications.