If you’ve been following the news I’m sure you are well aware of the state budget crises and the effect this is having on teachers and other public service employees. Adding to their woes are two new documentaries about public schools and education. I had a chance to see “The Lottery ”. The library also owns, “Waiting for Superman ” but I’m still waiting in line for that one. I’ve heard that both are great but I’ve only seen “The Lottery”.
In a section of Harlem, New York there are a few public schools and a couple of abandoned buildings. A group of teachers and administrators apply for a charter to put schools in those abandoned buildings. The charter schools open their doors through the use of a process called a lottery; hence the title of the film. Applicants fill out forms for a limited number of spaces and then the applicants are randomly drawn for that year until the process repeats itself next year. Sounds good so far, right? Well, imagine how the regular public school teachers feel when the charter school teachers are receiving all the positive attention. Of course it’s far more complex than that, but to give you an idea what it’s like, please watch the trailer below.