‘Road to Nowhere’ Speaks to Low and High Achieving School Districts Across Illinois

January 29, 2011

With all the oxygen being sucked out of the air in anticipation of Presidents Obama’s “State of the Union” address and proposed “date night” seating arrangements, plus the disqualifying of Rahm Emanuel from the ballot, I was pleased that the Tribune devoted some space to education on Monday, January 24 with an article by Tara Malone and Darnell Little, “New data reveal worrisome trends in public schools.” 

The article concentrated on a decline of enrollment in the state’s public schools and in the Archdiocese of Chicago schools across Cook and Lake counties.

What might be the cause for this disturbing trend?   Might it have something to with whether of not children are having positive experiences during their school day?  Are students being treated as individuals?  Has high-stakes testing often replaced meaningful teaching and learning?  Is cheating common place?  Are stress-related illnesses from stomach and headaches, to depression, burnouts, and experimentation with drugs the norm?  Has anxiety and stress in pressure cooker environments resulted in student drop out and failure, given that many young people are arriving at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired?

Lake Forest School Districts #115 and #67 are rated high throughout the state in student achievement.  Even so, an independently-produced film — “Road to Nowhere” —  by a concerned mother turned filmmaker is stirring up grass roots activity for a dialogue among tax payers, parents, teachers and students.  Screenings of “Road to Nowhere,” a remarkable film which shows the high-pressure culture that has invaded our schools and our children’s lives — took place last week.  Follow-up discussions have been planned.

If upscale communities like Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, which shares Lake Forest High School, can learn from the film’s message, how much more might communities benefit where schools are failing their young people? 

Check out www.RaceToNowhere.com to find how “Road to Nowhere” can be brought to your community.

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