The film is one in a series of films about education and our youth. Senior Gryffen Andrews says,” It is an education movie on high-stakes testing, I find it fascinating.”
The room was filled with individuals from different backgrounds ranging from parents, educators, and college of education students that came together for one cause: to see how students are affected by the epidemic of high-stakes testing.
The screening began with Vicki Abele, the filmmaker reflecting on her life on how she was raised as dealing with her parents being divorced. Vicki had three children and wanted to give them the life she never had.
Abele mainly profiles her two out of three children, Jamey who is in seventh grade and Zachary who is in third grade. Both of her children deal with the stress of homework and testing, which affects them physically. Abele decided to do this film due to her second oldest daughter, Jamey. One day she had to be admitted to the hospital due to suffering from severe anxiety because of school.
The film then goes on to profile students from all over the spectrum, from high-income to low-income students. The students talked about how they are pressured to do great in school and even more pressured to eventually persevere in higher education. With persevering in higher education, they are forced to go to the top universities in the U.S. The parents of these students realize the pressure they put on their children, which they see as necessary. In the end they want what’s best for their children. Many of the parents express the fear of failing as a parent if they don’t push their children.
The adolescent years are a tough for kids, and many children fight with depression. Children are now taking stimulants to help them “stay up” so they can get these top grades or to help them go to sleep when suffering from insomnia. They are able to get a hold of these drugs easily, since so many students are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
The film also profiled a few different stories from different students who dealt with the stress of school and how homework affected them severely.
Twelve-year-old Devin Marvin is profiled in the film. Marvin was a great student and received good grades.
She maintained good grades and had an A in her math class. She then received an F on a math test. By her receiving the F it made her feel horrible about herself, which led to suicide.
The film succeeded in bringing awareness to the fact that children are being forced to do too much. Homework and testing are important, but they don’t have time to just be children.