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The School Project: UnChartered Territory

Charter Schools: For Better or Worse


The School Project is a Chicago-based documentary series that is tracking the past and present status of the city's public school system. The fifth episode examines the expansion of charter schools in Chicago and talks to proponents and critics of the charter movement.

On Saturday, April 25, a film screening and community discussion on the expansion of charter schools will be held from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Chicago Cultural Center. Chicago Tonight's own Elizabeth Brackett will be moderating the panel. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Watch a trailer of UnChartered Territory - Charter Schools For Better Or Worse.

Watch The School Project's first four episodes below.

Chicago Schools - The Worst in the Nation?
In 1987, U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett made headlines when he claimed that Chicago had the worst school district in the nation. Why did his comment have so much staying power, and what has it meant for school reform in the last two decades?

Chicago Public Schools: Closed
In 2013, Chicago Public Schools announced that an unprecedented 49 neighborhood schools would be permanently closed. Follow Rousemary Vega, a parent turned activist, through the maze of hearings and protests that preceded the largest school closings in American history. 

Chicago Marches Against the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Malcolm London and Project NIA organized a march from a closed school to the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, as part of the National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth.

Testing Season
Chicagoans are opting out of PARCC in record numbers and taking a stand on standardized testing. This documentary looks at diverse opinions on whether and how much testing is worthwhile.