Rise Above the Mark, a documentary film that takes a critical look at Indiana’s use of charter schools, vouchers, and high stakes testing, will have its Indianapolis premiere on Friday, February 28, at 6:00 p.m. in Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University.

RATM logoA panel discussion on the future of public education will follow the film at 7:30 p.m., also in Clowes Hall. Panelists representing a spectrum of views will include:

  • Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H. W. Bush
  • David Harris, Founder & CEO of The Mind Trust educational foundation
  • Dr. Wendy Robinson, Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Robert Enlow, President & CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
  • Greg Lineweaver, Chair of the English Department at North Central High School

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available to the Butler community beginning at 10:00 a.m. on January 30 and to the public beginning at 10:00 a.m. February 4 at the Clowes Hall Box Office or through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com; fees apply). Tickets are limited to two per person.

“Stakeholders in the future of education—from parents to politicians, teachers to businesspeople, and students of all ages—are invited to attend the event to participate in an informed and wide-ranging dialogue,” said Ena Shelley, Butler Dean of Education.

Audience members have the opportunity to submit questions in advance for a Q&A session that will follow the Rise Above panel discussion. To submit a question, visit http://www.formstack.com/forms/butler-rise. Only one submission is allowed per person; questions must be received by Monday, February 24.

Developed by the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation, Rise Above the Mark documents the effects of “corporate reforms” on public education in Indiana and across the nation. The 65-minute film features international and national experts in education and economic research—including Ravitch; Marc Tucker, CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy; and Linda Darling-Hammond, Co-Director of the School Redesign Network. Larry DeBoer and David Hummels, both at Purdue University, helped with the financial study presented in the film. Jack Klink of JackKlink Productions directed the documentary. Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Xo3bjEMm8 to watch the film trailer

“The Rise Above the Mark viewing gives our community an opportunity to learn more about, and openly discuss, the challenges facing public school teachers and administrators and reforms that work,” said Faye Snodgrass, Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

Snodgrass, who serves on the COE Board of Visitors, brought the film to the College’s attention after it debuted last December.

“Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy. Everyone needs to be invested in the success of Indiana schools and to understand the practices and mandates that are causing many committed educators to leave the profession,” she said.

Additional support for the evening is provided by Kappa Delta Pi and COE’s Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals.

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944