Presented with the kind permission of Dave Compton, Broken Pencil Productions & Two Million Minutes
Most Americans have long known that our public schools aren’t getting the job done, but as our country increasingly falls behind our economic competitors and a wide academic gap within our country persists between low-income, minority students and their more affluent peers, these twin achievement gaps have reached crisis proportions. Simply put, the failure of our public schools is the most pressing domestic issue our nation faces.
There’s good news, however: we now know what must be done to fix our schools and a wave of reform is beginning to sweep the country. But it won’t be easy – the system, while failing children, has been working very well for the adults, who fight ferociously to maintain the unacceptable status quo. The outcome of this battle will determine the long-term future of our country.
Whitney Tilson has been engaged in this fight for more than 20 years, when he was one of the first people to join Wendy Kopp in starting Teach for America. Wendy later introduced him to David Levin, the co-founder of the KIPP network of charter schools, and he’s served on KIPP’s board for nearly a decade. He’s also one of the founders of Democrats for Education Reform, the Rewarding Achievement (REACH) program, and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, and serves on the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the Council of Urban Professionals, and the Pershing Square Foundation.
After spending more than two decades on the front lines, witnessing first-hand public education’s dramatic failures and remarkable successes, Mr. Tilson was inspired to assemble a powerful and at times unsettling presentation about the twin achievement gaps and what must be done to address them. He utilizes the latest data and research to paint the most detailed portrait of American public education ever committed to film. More importantly, he presents us with a way forward so our nation can deliver on its promise to all of its children and ensure its long-term future.