Four children enter a high-stakes lottery. If they win, they can attend one of the best schools in New York. A look at the crisis in public education, The Lottery makes the case than any child can succeed.
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Joshua van Praag
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In a country where 58% of African American 4th graders are functionally illiterate, The Lottery uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system and reveals that hundreds of thousands of parents attempt to flee the system every year. The Lottery follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win the chance of a better future. The Lottery uncovers a ferocious debate surrounding the education reform movement. Interviews with politicians and educators explain not only the crisis in public education, but also why it is fixable. A call to action to avert a catastrophe in the education of American children, The Lottery makes the case that any child can succeed. Written by
The only problem with a teacher-run school is that it is only open 10 months of the year.
Fortunately, the charter school depicted in this documentary is open all-year round.
Every year New York's Success Academy holds an admission sweepstakes for entrance into its prestigious halls.
Following hopefuls from Harlem and the Bronx as they vie for desks in the class-size controlled classrooms, viewers are edified on the grassroots movement away from teachers' unions, and the bureaucratic red tape of the public system.
With interviews with the movements most important members, like, Geoffrey Canada, founder of a school for underprivileged children in Harlem, The Lottery is as disheartening as it is enlightening.
While it is prejudiced against public schools, The Lottery's bias does expose the system's undeniable decay.
Incidentally, children should only be entered into school lotteries to see who gets to wear the classroom body armour this week.
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