"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, August 22, 2005

NCLB Documentary Premiers 9/25/05

Lerone Wilson's documentary on No Child Left Behind will premier in New York City on September 25, 2005. Wilson spent a year as a student teacher in New York City's elementary schools.

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(Reprinted from WTVS)

Polarizing Film Finds Home at WTVS

Detroit Public Television Filmmaker Lerone Wilson, 23, never envisioned himself producing a politically charged hour-long television documentary on the federal education program. Nevertheless 2 ½ years later, the resulting film ‘No Child Left Behind’ will air August 28, on WTVS – Detroit Public Television at 2pm.

During the course of his senior year at the New York University film school, Wilson spent a great deal of time tutoring students at PS217 as part of a work/study program. It was there that he became familiar with many educators’ discontent with the new legislation. “I remember one particular conversation where a teacher, knowing I was a film student, said ‘Lerone you have to do something’ …and she was right”, said Wilson. The film, which was designed to be a balanced look into the issues surrounding the NCLB program, has shown to be highly polarizing. “One woman who saw my website, even called to berate me about how I was essentially a liberal propagandist.” he recalled. Wilson has since re-edited the film’s trailer, yet complaints concerning its alleged political leanings continue from liberals and conservatives alike. “I’ve seen lots of hurtful, and offensive remarks flung around surrounding this issue. But after producing this film I’ve realized it’s not out of ill will, rather because it’s an issue that lots of people have a vested interest in, and care passionately about.”

Having attended schools in both Southfield, and Birmingham, Lerone spends a great deal the film’s time exploring a controversial aspect of the NCLB discussion, the black/white achievement gap. “Growing up I studied in these two demographically distinct school districts. I always wondered why despite the negligible economic differences, one group consistently outperformed the other. This really bothered me.” Wilson said. While he and his production company startup Boondoggle Films don’t intend to single-handedly solve the issues raised in the film, they do hope to have an impact upon social discourse.

Posted by Judy Rabin.

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