Yet another movie shot—and this time also set—in the Pittsburgh area opens this weekend, and in light of ongoing debates regarding education reform, school funding, and charter schools, it may trigger some buzz.
The movie's producers said that it was inspired by the story of a California state mother who tried to use what's called a "parent trigger" law to take over a school.
The movie has already been getting a lot of reaction.
"While we wouldn't expect a Hollywood production about public schools to be grounded in research-based facts," said Anne L. Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association, "there are many reasons to be concerned about the images of educators portrayed in the movie and the fanfare surrounding this type of law, which so far, has only been used in one instance but has piqued the interest of legislatures in several states.
"While 'parent involvement' always sounds agreeable, we have research showing that certain parental strategies work much better than others, and parent trigger laws are far from being a proven methodology."
Reaction was mixed at a screening earlier this week in Philadelphia.
"I thought it was a good movie, but I have concerns," Sylvia Simms, president of Parent Power, told myfoxphilly.com. "Only two out of 10 charter schools really work, so what do we do about the eight failing charter schools? I think there needs to be more accountability."
Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, told the TV station, "It's a piece of fiction, and there were exaggerations and inaccuracies. But it was compelling for parents wanting good neighborhood schools."
Added George Parker, former president of the Washington Teachers' Union, on myfoxphilly.com, "The movie is empowering for teachers and parents, and for me, that's critical because those two stakeholders have been the least empowered in this entire education reform movement."
This article originally appeared on the NorthHills Patch.
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