Thought-provoking documentary about education to be shown Jan. 9

Published: December 21 2010

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Honors Program will present a one-time screening of a documentary that is changing the national dialogue on education.

“Race to Nowhere” will be shown at 2 p.m. Jan. 9 in Chandler Auditorium in the Harn Museum of Arts. Admission is free.

The film features the heartbreaking stories of young people in varied types of communities who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren’t developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what’s best for their kids. “Race to Nowhere” points to a silent epidemic in schools: cheating has become commonplace; students are disengaged; stress-related illness and depression are rampant; and many young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

“As a faculty member I am concerned that today’s high school students are too focused on high-stakes testing and documenting their achievements,” said Kevin Knudson, director of the Honors Program. “We see this even more in the Honors Program and this led me to organize this screening as a means to begin a conversation about the need to rethink our current educational structure.”

The film is being screened nationwide during a six-month campaign to change the national dialogue on education and to galvanize change.

Vicki Abeles, a first-time filmmaker, was inspired to make “Race to Nowhere” out of concern for her children. A mother of three and former Wall Street attorney, Abeles awakened to this crisis as her 12-year-old daughter was being treated for stress-related illness. She saw personally how the pressures were overwhelming not only to her own kids, but to students everywhere — in every kind of school environment and community.

“I wanted to expose a deeper truth about our education system. We are graduating a generation of robo-students, unable to think and work independently, creatively and collaboratively,” Abeles said.

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Kevin Knudson,, 352-392-1519

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories