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Filmography - Education: Case studies - Schools

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011

K-12 Case studies - Schools

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (



High school. 1968. 1 videodisc (75 min.). A documentary study of Northeast High School in Philadelphia in 1968; deals with the ideology and values of a large urban high school as seen through encounters between students, teachers, and parents in guidance sessions, college counseling, discipline, faculty meetings, corridor patrol, gymnasium, and classroom activities. VHS 3701 and DVD 7480

I am a promise: The children of Stanton Elementary School. 2005. 1 videodisc (ca. 90 min.). Paints a poignantly captivating, unflinching, and relevant portrait of the children of Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia, an inner-city neighborhood where 90% of the students live below the poverty line. As seen through the devoted and determined viewpoint of principal Deanna Burney, this shows Stanton as grossly underfunded, understaffed, and filled with children struggling to overcome their difficulties. However, for these at-risk kids growing up outside the American dream, the only hope for their future survives in the success of their education. VHS 2945 and DVD 1157

Little Rock Central: 50 years later. 2007. 1 videodisc (70 min.). In 1957, Little Rock Central became a symbol of the struggles and hopes of the Civil Rights Movement. African-American students were not allowed into the building. An eye-opening look at racial equality, education, and class at the high school today. DVD 7333

No Child Left Behind: The Case of City Springs. 2000. (88 min.). Originally titled The Battle of City Springs, this fascinating case study profiles City Springs Elementary-a Baltimore school nearly closed by the State of Maryland until it implemented a rigorous teaching method known as Direct Instruction. Filmed over an entire year, the film documents the progress made by City Springs students as they struggle to build reading and math skills-and their teachers struggle to make D.I. more than a theoretical concept. Although the year is filled with constant setbacks and challenges, including wearisome discipline problems and a demoralizing case of vandalism, the video culminates in statewide exam results that heavily favor City Springs' new strategy. (87 minutes). Streaming video.

Reborn New Orleans Schools. 2008. (85 min.). Despite its horrific destruction, Hurricane Katrina gave New Orleans educators the opportunity to reinvent a school system that wasn't working. This program chronicles the first official year of public school in New Orleans after the storm and the transition to the widespread use of charter schools in the city. Focusing on predominantly African-American schools, the film examines the situation from the perspective of several different teachers and principals-while also illustrating the hopes and frustrations of students and their families as new schools are constructed and new teaching methods are put into action. Interviews feature KIPP Schools cofounder Mike Feinberg and many other education experts. (85 minutes). Streaming video.

Seventeen. Middletown. 1992. 1 videodisc (120 min.). Originally part of a documentary series updating the seminal sociological study "Middletown", by Robert and Helen Lynd, this riveting documentary records the senior year of Lynn, a white high school senior [in Muncie, Indiana] who becomes the object of neighborhood racism when she dates a black student. Never aired on PBS because of its explosive, graphic content, the film candidly uncovers the turmoil brewing beneath a seemingly placid working-class community : reckless parties, drugs, interracial relationships and tensions, apathy in the classroom and teenage pregnancy. Although it deals with life in a midwestern town the elements depicted in the film could be said to be typical of many communities across America. VHS 4072 and DVD 7714

Success and Failure at P.S. 27, Part 1. 2000. (56 min.). Over the course of this three-segment program, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel tracks the progress of Lesley-Diann Jones' combined class of fourth- and fifth-graders, from opening day in September to February 1st, when the students re-took the state English exam that they had failed the previous year. Amidst Ms. Jones' efforts to help her students improve their learning and test-taking abilities, other dramas unfolded involving stubborn parents, disruptive classroom behavior, deadline pressure, and a dispute over a promised bonus for compressing two years' worth of teaching into one. (56 minutes). Streaming video.

Success and Failure at P.S. 27, Part 2. 2000. (57 min.). How does a teacher develop the skill, courage, and stamina to teach disadvantaged youth-the children given up on by virtually everyone else? In this program, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel delivers three more reports on Lesley-Diann Jones and her class, covering January to graduation day in June. In addition to her concerns over chronic absenteeism and the future prospects of her students, Ms. Jones was forced to deal with one student who made a death threat against a classmate and another who alleged that Ms. Jones had publicly humiliated her. A retrospective segment completes the program. (57 minutes). Streaming video.

The Teacher Shortage Problem Making the Grade at P.S. 25. 2001. (58 min.). Facing a severe teacher shortfall for the 2000-2001 academic year, New York City scrambled to staff its worst-performing school district by crash-training hundreds of eager teaching fellows. In this program, NewsHour correspondent John Merrow presents five reports that track several of these brand-new teachers from opening day to summer recess as they learn the ropes at P.S. 25, in Brooklyn. Balancing their idealistic views of teaching are hard-won insights that demonstrate a powerful determination to overcome discouragement brought on by long hours, inadequate resources, and classroom discipline problems. High-stakes citywide testing is also addressed. (58 minutes). Streaming video.