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The Ron Clark Story (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Ron Clark: This Teacher is in A Class of His Own ****

Author: edwagreen from United States
14 August 2006

An excellent, extremely interesting film of a teacher in the New York City school system. While the movie is terrific and a joy to watch, it is unfortunately unrealistic. I give the movie A+ for effort because this is the way that situations like this should turn out but they don't.

The New York City school system is in a quagmire and no one has been able to solve the problems. Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein have been hoodwinking the public into thinking that conditions are getting better. Unfortunately, they aren't.

Nevertheless, we have a true story of a teacher who did make a difference. From North Carolina, Ron Clark had a definite calling for teaching. He comes to New York and takes on a class that no one wants. The students are way out of control.

Yes, Clark gets it right by putting down the rules. Did you notice how quickly most of the class turned from being recalcitrants to ardent listeners? Unfortunately, this does not happen in 99% of our classrooms in the city.

In addition, teachers do not get the support of supervisors as at first shown in the film. The latter does an excellent job of showing the home environment of the pupils. Obviously, from dysfunctional homes, this type of environment is not at all conducive to learning.

I once read that a teacher said that we must get into the minds and the world of the students we teach. Sometimes, we have to drink that chocolate milk or skip rope just to reach these children. Clark does that.

Mat Perry is excellent as the idealistic teacher who certainly is so sure of himself except for that moment when he temporarily lost it.

It is also obvious that the students that Clark had were capable of doing the work but were severe behavior problems. Notice that everyone must have been reading on level or knew how to read to be able to comprehend what he was discussing. Yes, he brought the material, including the rap music on the presidents to their level but there had to be an innate ability to begin with.

Clark tried to work with the abilities of his students by concentrating on the positive.

Speak to our New York City teachers. It's not happening the way it happened in Clark's classroom. Isn't it unfortunate that someone with Clark's talent left the city to form an academy in Georgia? Another problem in our system is that the most creative teachers are leaving to the world of supervision or just plain quitting.

I would like the producers of this film to do a follow-up on the rest of the system. It should only be as good as this film. In retrospect, the film did not show the role of the assistant principal and guidance counselor in the school. For sure, these students were in need of professional help. A therapist was needed as well. The movie did bring out that the principal was solely interested in exam scores. Notice that he chewed the teacher out in front of the students. How do you expect students to show any kind of respect when that occurs? I also observed that there was no talk of co-operative learning. The bulk of the instruction came from Mr. Clark itself. Try that today in a New York City classroom and your headed for trouble. Am sure that the teacher of the honors class had to answer to the principal when Clark's class did better on the statewide exams. I wouldn't want to be in that teacher's place.

On top of everything else, the film adequately showed what some of the parents are like in the system. Right away, the mother threw out the words white teacher.

In summary, the film was very well made and is a definite reflection on society today and how we value education.

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A teacher who specializes in raising test scores decides to take his skills to a inner city Harlem elementary school in New York

Author: torontokc from United States
14 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow this is a fantastic movie. I just watched it last night with my aunt and I was so moved. The way the story develops is genius and what makes it better is that it is based on a true story. Kudos to Matthew Perry for an excellent job, aside from *friends* this is his best role ever by far. It's a moving film , Mr. Clark had his work cut out for him when he decided to teach that class, at one point he even lost his cool and thought he couldn't teach them. He realized that the students needed someone who wouldn't give up on them. So he tried a new method of rap teaching, and chugging chocolate milk, and playing double dutch. In the end they scored better than the honors students on the state test. This movie was well-acted and just an enjoyment. My only problem was the fact that it went on commercial (lol). I highly recommend it!!

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Forward thinking teacher changes lives

Author: fourloomies from United States
14 August 2006

What an inspirational story! Sure, there have been other movies about inspirational teachers (Blackboard Jungle, Stand & Deliver, and Dangerous Minds) and there should be more. Good teachers deserve more credit and exposure. It would give struggling teachers someone to look up to! Our schools could use more teachers like Ron Clark. Loved the Presidential rap! This was an excellent movie, perfect casting and wonderfully written. I wish they could have shown us more! Way to go Ron Clark! Way to go actors - you all did so well (Brandon ripped my heart out! Way to go Enscoe and deYoung - thanks for telling a wonderful story!!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The one film that should have been on the big screen

Author: magutosh from United Kingdom
23 September 2006

Great story, great acting and what a shame it was only made for TV, maybe and just maybe because it's for TV, it was given the opportunity to tell a story with excellence, emotion and great merit, with none of those Hollywood type of rubbish.

Matthew Perry has been a great actor, not just a comedy actor. His portrait of Ron Clark has brought the character down to earth, told as it is.

I did not know anything about Ron Clark before watching this film, yet after watching it, I felt as if I were there, in Mr Clark's very own classroom, that's what a good film should be. Not just for our eyes and brains but for our hearts.

Now I only wish Mr Clark had been my teacher.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Ron Clark Story

Author: ybrannon from United States
13 August 2006

This is one of the "BEST" movies that I have seen in many years. It was very inspirational to me as an educator, but inspiring to me to know that there are still a lot of caring teachers, out there that care enough and do NOT give up on the children from the "inner cities." Thank You so much Mr. Ron Clark, You truly are the "badest teacher," as voted. I hope that many young people see this wonderful story and strive to work toward a degree in education, and really consider the "inner schools," where the need is so so great! I wish that I could have had a movie like this to inspire me, when I was in college. I would one day like to visit the "Ron Clark Acadamy."

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

RON CLARK STORY - A Hollywood-type story that becomes too Hollywood

Author: ActOne from Orlando, FL
19 August 2006

Being a teacher, I look for inspiration. I was fortunate to have seen Ron Clark speak last year. At this gathering, mention was made that there was a TV movie being made about his inspiring story starring Matthew Perry.

So, now comes that movie. But having seen it the other night, I must say how unimpressed I was. The reason why is that Ron Clark has been turned into "Ron Clark, role for TV star who wants people to see that he can act" and it doesn't seem to capture the personality of the real guy! The real Ron Clark I would describe as effervescent, clearly North Carolinian (the dialect gives that away), a bundle of energy. Matthew Perry's performance seemed, in comparison, to be Ron Clark on downers. A dynamic, even flamboyant, white guy in a Harlem school should seem to demand a stronger contrast in storytelling.

THE RON CLARK STORY was too convenient in the fact that all story lines end at the same time in the same room. It's sanitized, homogenized and Hollywood-ized into formulaic material that does not serve to inspire from a realistic point of view. It exaggerated too far beyond what the real story is.

Too bad. The inspiration for the storytelling got lost. It seems to have become less inspiring than the real Ron Clark would suggest. That's demotivating.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Mr. Chips and Miss Dove don't get this movie.

Author: rick-keseley from United States
27 August 2006

Much of what Ron Clark professes is missing from this movie if you dare to compare the movie with what he says when he lectures. I guess one might say this is "loosely" based on a true story.

As a new teacher of high school kids, I can't say for certain whether clowning around with 5th graders really makes them like learning, but I'm certain that when they get to high school and they can't read or do simple math, no amount of humor can overcome the attitude that years of social promotion creates. Hats off to any teacher that get these kids started in learning.

As far as the movie version, Matthew Perry does not capture the manic energy of the real Ron Clark; he's far too adult and restrained. Clark is a whirlwind; a person you can't quite believe is real. Clark literally sweeps people along with his personal energy while talking a mile a minute. Perry just doesn't get it. His scenes with children are unbelievable, because they are too easily won over. Now if he'd only known karate, he'd of had them at "hello" or so says Hollywood.

I gave this film a 5, because its message that all children can learn is inspirational. A far better recent film is "Stand and Deliver"(1988), but the reason I'm a teacher is because of movies like "Good Morning, Miss Dove"(1955) and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1939).

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Wasted Opportunity

Author: mangospider from New York City
24 October 2006

If you've seen Ron Clark on Oprah, you know what an inspiration he is. This movie does absolutely NO JUSTICE to his story. In fact, the hack writers spend so much time shoe-horning his story into a clichéd structure, it's practically unrecognizable. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, Ron Clark's energy is the most amazing thing about him and Matthew Perry, while a fine actor in the right situation, is absolutely 100% miscast. For real, it should be someone like Sean Hayes or...I don't know, someone more electric. And those kids? Were such clichés. And, I don't know what movie the kid playing Shameika was even in. Basic Instinct or something. The story offered no insight into what actually made Ron Clark's teaching a success. By all appearances, he should have been an utter failure. It was deep conviction and unfailing energy that allowed him to succeed. When I heard this movie was being made, I was so excited for it. It couldn't be more of a disappointment.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Don't be callin us no damn stereotypes

Author: Sandcooler from Belgium
5 July 2008

For a true story this sure is some unrealistic material. First of all the class really isn't that bad to begin with. I mean, Ron Clark walks into a school in Harlem(!), gives them like a hundred rules on his first day, but is not once physically assaulted or shot at. Not even when he makes them wait for lunch for hours straight. I wouldn't consider myself a problem child but even I would have tried to just walk through him. The difficulties are really just limited to nobody paying attention, which really isn't all that abnormal if that's your style of teaching. We get a mediocre rehash of what we've seen so many times before, not once was Clark gaining their respect plausible. The only vaguely intelligent thing he did was the trick with the chocolate milk, which doesn't make you last all year. So yeah, perhaps it's inspirational, but he just turned mediocre, slightly displeased kids into good kids, which isn't that great. I'm thinking the actual Ron Clark suffered a lot more.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching

Author: Ploki from Sweden
22 January 2006

I watched this movie lacking anything else to watch, but found myself liking it and watching it all the way through.

At the end I was surprised to find out it was based on a true story. I thought it was way too predictable and cheesy to be a true story. The story however, is still beautiful, sweet and definitely worth telling. Matthew Perry does a good job portraying Ron Clark and the kids all do a very convincing job as troubled, frustrated and sometimes incredibly annoying students.

Watch this movie if you don't mind cheesy stories, but enjoy an entertaining 1,5 hours which actually offers quite a few surprises as well.

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