“The first natural resource in any society are the minds of its people.”
- Wendy Puriefoy, Public Education Network
In 1995, America’s college graduation rate was first in the world. Ten years later, it ranked 15th. As so many nations around the world continue to improve their systems of education, America can no longer afford to maintain the status quo. In an ever-changing, increasingly competitive global economy, is the U.S. doing all it can to prepare its students to win jobs and maintain a robust economy?
WHERE WE STAND: America’s Schools in the 21st Century presents a frank evaluation of our educational system’s strengths and weaknesses. Hosted by Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the documentary visits schools throughout Ohio, an important swing state that represents a range of socioeconomic and geographic school districts. The program features schools in urban Cincinnati, suburban Columbus, and rural Belpre.
WHERE WE STAND introduces students, parents, teachers and administrators whose stories illustrate the overwhelming odds and shining successes of education in America. They include Bin Che, an educator from mainland China who teaches Mandarin in rural Ohio; Cherese Clark, principal of a high-poverty school struggling under the pressure of low test scores; Guadalupe Medina, a student at a STEM school (which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), who, at age 16, has completed all of her high school requirements; and Anne Kuittinen, a Finnish exchange student who earned straight A’s but is now redoing her junior year at home in Finland because the Finnish school system doesn’t accept credits from America.