excerpt:"As promised in my Monday column about the popular new documentary "Race to Nowhere," here is the e-mail dialogue filmmaker Vicki Abeles had with me, a back-and-forth communication over the past month or so.
Mathews: I did a column recently complaining that "Race to Nowhere" never acknowledges that the academic and family pressures it spotlights are only prevalent in about the top 10 percent of school districts, measured by income and parental education.
What do you say?
Abeles: The pressures and compromised educational and health outcomes that "Race to Nowhere" spotlights are prevalent across all economic and cultural groups. Not only does the film feature students and teachers from low income urban communities such as Oakland, but when we have screenings in these communities, the film resonates for them, just as it does when we screen the film in any other community, regardless of social or economic status. In fact, the pressures are even greater in many urban schools with limited resources and little support for the additional pressures these children face outside of school. The quantity driven, one-size-fits-all model of education with its narrow focus on testing isn't serving young people well in any community. And, if the narrow focus on testing isn't preparing young people in middle class communities for life beyond high school, how do we expect it to work in communities with less resources and support? Let's come together to put what works for all children front and center.