This movie is a drama, inspired by true events, about our American education system. The film clearly shows how inferior teachers are allowed to remain, because of powerful teachers union,. Good teachers feel helpless, due to rules and regulations, and the unions failure to change.
Jamie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) a hard working, single parent, holding down 2 jobs, receptionist during the day, bartender at night. Her 8 year old daughter Malia is dyslexic, and doing poorly at John Adams, the lowest rated elementary school in Pittsburgh. Malia is stuck there because Jamie can’t afford to move to a neighborhood that have ‘charter’ schools. Not knowing what charter schools were, I looked it up. “Charter schools are publicly funded, are free from some rules and regulations that apply to other public schools. Charter schools have the potential to facilitate educational reforms and develop new and creative teaching methods
that can be replicated in traditional public schools for children.”
Jamie is not a trouble maker, just a frustrated mother looking to get her daughter a decent education. Malia’s teacher is seen, sitting doing nothing. Apparently she doesn’t seem to care if the kids don’t learn..they get advanced anyway, whether they learn or not, besides teachers have job security.
Jamie learns, disgruntled parents can turn a school around, under the new fail-safe laws, Jamie decides to go for it. She meets a dedicated, and
equally frustrated teacher Nona (Viola Davis) the love Nona once had for teaching has turned to hopelessness. Nona’s son has a learning disability of his own, and requires home tutoring. Jamie approaches Nona and asks “Do you want to start a school with me?” Together they team up and begin their long uphill battle, as they take on the Big failing school system, the bureaucracy, and the powerful teachers union.
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis delivered impressive performances, you can feel the frustration these two women go through. Parents with school children should see this intelligent / interesting movie.
2 3/4 popcorn bags
M is an 86-year old avid film reviewer.
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Popcorn Bags are out of 4