Links & Books


Loki Films: The Boys of Baraka
Check in with the filmmakers on their website to find out more about The Boys of Baraka from their perspective, as well as learn more about their current projects.


The Baraka School

Time magazine: Baraka School: An African Experiment
This article about the Baraka school inspired filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady to make "The Boys of Baraka." The accompanying photo essay lets you take a look at the boys' lives in Kenya. (October 1, 2000)

The Abell Foundation
This foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing quality of life in Baltimore, funded the Baraka School before its closing. Many of the other projects they fund in the Baltimore area are related to education in the city.

Baltimore City Public School Systems: Baraka Program
This page from the official website of the Baltimore City Public School Systems offers evaluations of the Baraka School project in a thorough, comprehensive report. The report outlines the background and size of the school system and details the vast improvement of the Baraka students' test scores in a series of tables.

City Paper: Lessons Learned: The Baraka School Gets Back on Its Feet
This article details the successes and struggles of the Baraka School before it closed. (June 19, 2002)

African-American Students

The Children's Defense Fund
This advocacy group, focused on the needs and welfare of children, provides a variety of resources, including numerous reports on youth development.

City Kids Count: Data on the Well-Being of Children in Large Cities
These reports from the Annie E. Casey Foundation provide data on how children fare in big cities across the United States.

Harper's magazine: Still Separate, Still Unequal: America's Education Apartheid
This article by Jonathan Kozol assesses the plight of inner city public schools, points out the striking racial segregation in these schools and discusses the economic conditions that lead to what he calls "the education apartheid." (September 2005)

Urban Institute
This non-partisan economic and social policy researching organization provides resources on education, with a particular focus on seeing if new educational reforms are successful. In-depth reports include a study of the No Child Left Behind Act and an overview of alternative education projects.

National Center for Education Statistics
The website for the primary education statistical gathering and analyzing organization in the U.S. includes data on academic performance and the condition of education from early childhood to postsecondary schools. You can also search for schools in your area to find the racial breakdown and enrollment information of the school.


Making Schools Work (with Hedrick Smith)
In this film from 2005, noted journalist and documentary filmmaker Hedrick Smith investigates whether it is possible for the nation's public schools to reach the levels of success expected by the government, and looks at what strategies of reform are having the most success in raising test scores and closing the achievement gap, and what it means for the future of American public schools.

Closing the Achievement Gap
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page as he tells the story of Amistad Academy, a charter school founded in 1999. Its goal? To close the persistent and dramatic achievement gap between minority students and white students in America's public school system. See how Amistad did it. And, more importantly, how other public schools can do it, too.

Online NewsHour: Brown vs. Board of Education: 50 Years Later
The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case desegregated America's public schools, but most minority students still attend schools where they are the majority. Gwen Ifill talks to four experts about the ways Brown has brought about change, and the ways it has failed to do so. (May 17, 2004)

Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise
On May 17, 1954, in its decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the doctrine of "separate but equal," ending legal segregation in American education. Fifty years later, how close is America to fulfilling the promise of Brown?

NOW with Bill Moyers: American Schools in Crisis?
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was designed to improve education and achievement in America's schools, in four clearly defined ways: accountability for results; an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research; expanded parental options; and expanded local control and flexibility. But under those new strict guidelines, many educators complain that schools will suffer unfairly by being labeled as failing when they are really not. How are these new measures going to change the way our educational system is run? (October 17, 2003)

Online NewsHour: Lagging Behind
A new U.S. Department of Education report card monitoring student achievement across 30 years has found that the gap between whites and blacks in reading, mathematics and science remains significant and in some cases is growing. A separate report issued today on the effect of school vouchers in three cities found test scores much improved among African-American students who used vouchers to move from public to private schools. (August 28, 2000)

Lagging Behind
Morgan Freeman narrates this intimate story about children at risk and the parents and teachers who care about them. This compelling one-hour documentary follows a dedicated superintendent, a novice teacher, and a first grader overwhelmed by the challenge of learning to read -- all captured during a tumultuous year in two struggling schools.

NPR Stories

All Things Considered: High Court to Review Race in Shaping Schools
The U.S. Supreme Court reenters the battle over affirmative action, announcing that it will decide whether public schools may use race as a factor in making students assignments in order to promote racial diversity. Includes links to other NPR stories on school segregation. (June 5, 2006)

News and Notes with Ed Gordon: Roundtable: School Race Divides
A roundtable discusses the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a key dispute over school desegregation and races divided by neighborhood. Guests: John McWhorter, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow in Public Policy; Roland Martin, executive editor of The Chicago Defender; and author Yvonne Bynoe. (June 6, 2006)

News and Notes with Ed Gordon: Is Segregation Undermining NYC Schools?
Critics argue that segregation and racism are still rampant in New York City public schools. Farai Chideya discusses charges of segregation in public schools with urban sociologist Pedro Noguera, a professor in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. (May 18, 2006)

News and Notes with Ed Gordon: Roundtable: School Segregation
Jeffrey Johnson, host and producer of The Cousin Jeff Chronicles on BET, Dawn Turner Trice, reporter and columnist with the Chicago Tribune and George Curry, editor-in-chief of The National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service talk about school segregation. (October 19, 2005)

All Things Considered: Poverty Holds Back "No Child" Law
As Washington policymakers talk of leaving no child behind, the reality in places like East St. Louis, Illinois, is that schools can't do it alone. When the school day is over and during the long summer vacation, children in these communities face poverty, crime, broken families and despair. (July 20, 2005)

All Things Considered: Teachers, Schools Challenge No Child Left Behind Law
Nine school districts and the nation's largest teacher's union file a federal lawsuit in Michigan claiming the No Child Left Behind Act has placed new demands on school districts without providing the funding to pay for them. (April 20, 2005)