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Friday, November 9, 2012

Video: Daily Show Interview with "Brooklyn Castle" filmmaker and student

See the video clip below last night from Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, with Katie Dellamaggiore, the maker of the inspirational film "Brooklyn Castle," about IS 318 in Brooklyn and its champion chess team, and Pobo Efekoro, a former member of the team.  This film, which has now opened around the country is an absolute must-see.  The villains are not the same (teachers and their unions) as in the usual Hollywood propaganda films like "Won't Back Down" and "Waiting for Superman" ,  but instead reflect reality on the ground: the repeated mid-year budget cuts carried out by the Bloomberg/Klein administration that threaten the ability of the chess team to defend their championship.

Also briefly discussed during the interview with Jon Stewart below is the wrongheaded obsession with testing, how unfair it is to target and demonize teachers, the unreliable teacher evaluation system based on test scores, and school overcrowding at Forest Hills HS, the school that Pobo currently attends, which enrolls nearly twice as many students than it was built for.  For more on the ridiculously low ratings of IS 318 in DOE's progress reports and the teacher data reports, see Gary Rubinstein's blog here.  As Gary writes:

As a chess enthusiast, myself, this reminds me of the contrast between the games that NYC plays with their statistics vs. the honest game of Chess.  In Chess, there is no deception.  You can see all the pieces, yours and your opponents.  There is no way to lie and claim that you are winning when you are not.  This is in stark contrast to the games that the NYC DOE plays with the schools and teachers who they seem to view as worthless pawns.

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