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Film screenings about testing, incarceration, and corporate education agendas

Tamara Anderson

Three important events are being hosted throughout Philadelphia that shines a light on the ills and failures of testing, corporate educational agendas, and the criminal justice system. During this ongoing onslaught of budget cuts, school closings, eliminated programs, and higher incidents of individuals being incarcerated for non-violent crimes, this is the time to become thoroughly educated and engaged in what is going on and who are the major players. Poverty, poor educational systems, corporate agendas, deprofessionalization of teaching, and incarceration rates are all players in the same pool and components of the same systemic cycle.

On Thursday, January 16 at 5 pm, Teacher Lead Philly is hosting a screening and conversation of Race to Nowhere. A trailer and additional information can be found here. It will take place at Penn Treaty Middle School located at 600 East Thompson Street. Please RSVP here.

Featuring the heartbreaking stories of students across the country who have been pushed to the brink by over-scheduling, over-testing and the relentless pressure to achieve, “Race to Nowhere” points to a silent epidemic in our schools. Through the testimony of educators, parents and education experts, it reveals an education system in which cheating has become commonplace; students have become disengaged; stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant; and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired

On Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 pm Mishkan Shalom is hosting a screening panel and discussion/networking event of Broken on All Sides. This is “An award winning documentary about the causes of mass incarceration in the U.S., how systemic racism impacts criminal justice and ways to change the system. Suggested donation is $5-15. The event will be held at 4101 Freeland Ave and Shurs Lane. For more information please contact or visit

This event is co-sponsored by Global Citizen/Greater Philadelphia, MLK Day of Service, ACLU-Phila, Philadelphia Mural Arts, National Lawyers Guild-Philadelphia Chapter, Shalom Center, Heeding God's Call, The Center For Returning Citizens, Witness to Innocence, 1 Love Movement, Social Justice and Environmental Committee of Summit Presbyterian Church.

On Thursday, February 6 at 6 pm Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools is hosting a screening of Standardized: Lies, Money, and Civil Rights.

STANDARDIZED tells the real story behind the standardized testing industry and its effects on public school children. Are public schools abandoning the ideas of a comprehensive curriculum and producing well-rounded children in order to spend time teaching to the test? Are the tests reliable? What do they measure? How are these tests created and evaluated? Why is the general public allowing large corporations to make millions of dollars on their children? In a no-holds barred fashion, Rockfish Productions delves into the world of the Common Core and presents a dynamic, thorough investigation of what might be the final stages of public education.”

Tickets are $9 and the screening will be at Ritz East on 125 South 2nd Street. Tickets can be purchased at this link. Additional information about the film can be found here.

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