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CUNY TV - No Textbook Answer: Communities Confront the Achievement Gap

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Episode Details

Children are often failing in school because the school cannot overcome the problems students face at home and in their communities – lack of parental involvement, lack of role models, lack of resources, lack of opportunities, lack of motivation, and bad influences.
“No Textbook Answer: Communities Confront the Achievement Gap” documents the efforts of communities around the country that realized they had these gaps, and, instead of waiting for the schools to fill them, decided to do what they could to start filling them themselves.

These efforts ranged from providing meals to hungry parents and kids, to setting up mentoring programs or after-school activities, to holding a school board candidates’ forum moderated by district school children.

Even if the problem is the schools themselves, an engaged, involved community, creating its own solutions, is best able to demand change from schools.

The film’s title comes from one of its main findings — that there is no textbook answer that will fix all schools and all students. Each of the eight communities documented in the film had to create its own answer—by coming together, deciding what the problems were for themselves, discovering what they could do to change them, and taking action.

Written & Produced by Amy Lee/Narrated by Valerie Edwards.