Matt Damon's School Reform Movie

The new movie "Promised Land" looks like it has lots to offer education types, especially those who are critical of the current school reform movement: Celebrity school reform critic Matt Damon plays a leading role.  The actress from "My Sister's Sister" who's not Emily Blunt plays a teacher who is the moral center of the film. And the topic -- whether it's better to "save" small rural towns with natural gas leases (aka, fracking) or to try and help them recover otherwise -- might as well be about school reform. Right?


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  • Gas lease? How about a gas LEAK? My understanding is that there is a gas leak at Hancock AND flooding on multiple floors AND no heat AND the kids are still in the building. What the frack!?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Emanuel's longer school year will not be shortened by a gas leak. Regular Chicago kids, you know, "the ones with nothing in their eyes—a look Emanuel would never accept from his own children" be damned. You know like the mayor says "when you grow up again, you want to be an Emanuel child"... while Emanuel children may not qualify for elite selective enrollment schools, they would never sit in a building without heat.

  • There is no heat at Hancock and there is flooding, a stairway is closed because tiles are falling from the ceiling. But we're supposed to teach. Kids are suppose to learn. This would not be if we were a school with students from families with moolah.

  • Report some NEWS, not just gossip, you dunderhead (this means YOU, Russo)

  • Yes, it's true. Hancock College Prep had no heat today. Please read my latest post about our first day back from winter break. BRRRRRRRR.

  • ray

    I hope all the water leaks are fixed but i suspect the lack of heat
    has caused the water pipes to freeze and burst.If that is the case
    the school is uninhabitable .

  • In reply to rbusch:

    - and yet these teachers and kids have been told to report there for another full day of sodden shivering tomorrow!

  • CPS cant get buses and transport these freezing students to the new STEM Academy HS by the old Nabisco? There are only 250 students at STEM in this huge building every day.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS CAN get buses to the STEM Academy. Don't forget the Board and CPS Central Office is not interested in kids from schools like Hancock. Besides, imagine what will happen if the actually see the disparity that exists within CPS.

  • I did not think of that--sad for students to see what they do not have at Hancock if they saw STEM. Was this a Daley thing? -buy old dilapidated Catholic Schools with CPS public money to help the catholic archdiocese with all their catholic school closings?

  • Hi, Russo; I'm the one who threadjacked your post which nobody had responded to because you appear to be the only person on the planet that doesn't realize that Matt Damon's mom, whom he loves and respects, is a career educator and keeps her son thoroughly apprised of the public-school-system-as-the-next-commodity situation.. Your attempt to characterize his latest movie as a fallacious allegory tempted no one to fill your neglected space, in spite of your increasingly lazy teacher-baiting. I heard about the Hancock situation from a teacher there and couldn't believe how the situation was escalating with no talk about moving the students. Thank you, Ray Salazar for bringing the Real. Alex, you can run this blog on twitterbot if you like, but then please stop whining about the lack of recognition of your awesome journalistic prowess.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    thanks for reading and commenting -- did you go over and fix the leak at hancock, too? you're the best.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Why, no Alex, because unlike the refauxmers you slavishly idolize, I like to stick to the areas of my training and experience. As a user of heat and plumbing myself, and a person who worked with children for forty years with little more than heat and plumbing provided by the Chicago Public Schools, I consider myself an expert in what human children can minimally be expected to produce when they are cold and wet.

  • Data don't lie. Hancock's dashboard is gonna be all red this week.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Good. That's a way to get the inequities that cause the "red" status recognized and--hopefully--addressed.

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