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SCHOOL: The Story of American Public Education

THE LANDMARK PBS SERIES NARRATED BY MERYL STREEP OFFERS AN UNPRECEDENTED PORTRAIT OF OUR GREAT NATIONAL EXPERIMENT.

Synopsis

SCHOOL is a dramatic four-hour documentary series that chronicles the development of our nation’s public education system from Colonial times to the 21st century. Presented on PBS by KCET/Hollywood and narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, SCHOOL recaptures the idealism of the early advocates of public education and continues with an unflinching look at the experiments and challenges in classrooms today.

An award-winning SCHOOL companion volume is published by Beacon Press.

Directed by Sarah Mondale

Produced by Sarah B. Patton and Sarah Mondale

Edited by Marian Hunter

Narrated by: Meryl Streep

Praise for School

  • SCHOOL is PBS doing exactly what public television should be doing above all else: bringing context, clarity and perspective to an emotionally charged and often misunderstood part of our shared national experience.”

    - The Baltimore Sun

  • A compelling narrative….Remarkable thoroughness and intellectual energy…This program should be required viewing for policymakers who make pronouncements on what schools should or shouldn’t be.

    - The New York Times

  • SCHOOL causes a familiar topic to seem strange and rich again.

    - The Washington Post, TV Week

  • Deploying stunning antique footage and sound bites from historians and others, School spans I.Q. and back-to-basics disputes as well as those bitter political spats regarding the ‘V’ word (vouchers).

    - Los Angeles Times

  • A fascinating primer on the roots of American schools and an even-handed look at privatization, standardized testing and other contemporary issues.

    - The Associated Press

SCREENINGS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

SCHOOL is considered a “must see” in universities and schools of education. Through an extensive nationwide outreach campaign, the series has also been screened by hundreds of community groups, PTAs, professional organizations, museums, libraries and others, sparking discussions with local stakeholders. Filmmaker appearances available upon request.

On Screen Personalities

DAVID TYACK

Author of The One Best System and Tinkering Toward Utopia, Tyack was a preeminent historian of American education at Stanford University.

JAMES ANDERSON

James Anderson is dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois and author whose work includes The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935.

DIANE RAVITCH

Diane Ravitch is an historian and former U.S. Asst. Secretary of Education whose recent books include The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

CARL KAESTLE

Carl Kaestle is a distinguished Professor Emeritus at Brown University. His books include Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society.

NICK LEMAN

Nick Leman is Dean Emeritus of the Faculty at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999.

BEL KAUFMAN

Bel Kaufman was an American teacher and author, well known for writing the bestselling 1964 novel Up the Down Staircase.

LINDA BROWN THOMPSON

Linda Brown Thompson was a school girl in Topeka, KS whose lawsuit against school segregation led to the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education

JULIAN NAVA

Professor Emeritus of History at California State University and former ambassador to Mexico. He lectures widely about multicultural education.

KATHRYN KISH SKLAR

Kathryn Kish Sklar is an historian, author and professor whose work focuses on the history of women's participation in social movements.

LARRY CUBAN

Professor of Education at Stanford University and former school superintendent whose books include Tinkering Towards Utopia (with David Tyack).

VANESSA SIDDLE WALKER

Vanessa Siddle Walker is a professor of African-American Educational Studies whose books include Their Highest Potential: An African American School Community in the Segregated South.

ALFRED KAZIN

Alfred Kazin was an American writer and literary critic whose best known work is A Walker in the City (1951) which depicts the immigrant experience in early twentieth century America.

On The Set of "School"

MAJOR FUNDING FOR “SCHOOL” PROVIDED BY:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
The National Endowment for the Humanities
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Ford Foundation
The Carnegie Corporation of New York
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
The Lovelace Family Trust
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation
Community Funds, Inc.
The Spencer Foundation
The George Gund Foundation
The William H. Donner Foundation
The Hillsdale Fund
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The MetLife Foundation
The W.H. Kellogg Foundation
The James Ford Bell Foundation
The New York Council for the Humanities
The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media/Funding Exchange

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