New Documentary Sheds Light on Life’s Immeasurable Skills

New Documentary Sheds Light on Life’s Immeasurable Skills

Six years ago, Hilltown Families joined in on the national education-centric conversation sparked by the documentary Race to Nowhere. Addressing the standards- and achievement-based culture pushed within American schools during the past decade, Race to Nowhere spotlights the intense and frustrating damage that can be done when students are forced to exist within such an environment. Featuring anecdotal evidence alongside hard facts, the film paints a fascinating yet horrifying picture of the climate within which students are expected to thrive.

Our mini-series, Experiencing Education, featured short essays that delved deep into the ideas addressed in the film – that we’ve taken the joy out of learning, and that our supposed system for success is doing far more harm than good. Titled “Lost and Frantic in the Race to Nowhere” and “Curly Willow Education”, this Race to Nowhere-inspired series put our education system’s shortcomings into a local context, sharing the educational experiences (and their results) of a young adult whose education was molded entirely by America’s achievement culture. This series sparked the interests of the producer of Race to Nowhere, Vicki Abeles.

Now, at a time when education has begun to work its way to the forefront of the hearts and minds of everyone from politicians to the students themselves, the directors of Race to Nowhere present a sequel to their groundbreaking film, Beyond Measure, and begin to delve deeper into possible solutions to the problems they have identified.

Beyond Measure challenges the ideas behind the rules and regulations driving our achievement-centric educational climate and spotlights the successes of communities who have transformed the way that they educate in order to better meet the needs of their children. Just as the film’s title implies, Beyond Measure speaks to the importance of the essential skills and understandings that are literally beyond measure – the independence necessary to succeed as an adult, the curiosity and inquiry necessary to engage in deep learning, and the personal growth essential to putting these skills to good use as an adult. Where Race to Nowhere may have left audiences saddened from its harsh dose of reality, Beyond Measure focuses on possibilities – for change, for growth, for learning, and for happiness.

Screenings of Beyond Measure are currently being held nationwide. A local screening will take place on Wednesday, November 18th at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. Held in the Mills Theater (located in Carr Hall) and beginning at 7pm, the screening is the only currently scheduled local opportunity to see the documentary. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and the event will take place from 7-9:30pm. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase director Vicki Abeles’ book (Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation) – currently ranked at #5 on the New York Times’ best sellers in education list.

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