Let’s Go To The Movies!

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Everyone who lives near Houston or the DFW metroplex!

This Tuesday at 7:30 pm you have the opportunity to see the national premier of the new film, The Lottery.  It tells the story of the battle in New York City over the future of public education between education reformers versus the “union-political-educational complex.”

It will be shown at three theaters in Texas.  They are:

  • YORKTOWN 15, 15900 YORKTOWN CROSSING, HOUSTON, Texas
  • DALLAS ROYAL 8 CINEMA, 11170 N. CENTRAL EXWY., DALLAS, TX
  • NORTH EAST MALL 18, 1101 MELBOURNE RD., HURST, Texas

(If you live in another state, you can find other theaters at this link.)

I, Bob Schoolfield, will be at the Houston theater and would love to meet you personally and help you get involved in the school choice movement.

Madeleine Sackler, the producer of The Lottery, has an interview in the WSJ this weekend.  She tells the story about the circumstances that caused her to make the film. Here are some highlights of that interview.

In the spring of 2008, Ms. Sackler, then a freelance film editor, caught a segment on the local news about New York’s biggest lottery. It wasn’t the Powerball. It was a chance for 475 lucky kids to get into [Harlem Success Academy,] one of the city’s best charter schools,  (publicly funded schools that aren’t subject to union rules).

“I was blown away by the number of parents that were there,” Ms. Sackler [says.]

But on the way to making the film she [originally] imagined [she would make], she “stumbled on this political mayhem—really like a turf war about the future of public education.” Or more accurately, she happened upon a raucous protest outside of a failing public school in which Harlem Success, already filled to capacity, had requested space.

There she discovered that the majority of those protesting the proliferation of charter schools were not even from the neighborhood… [and] …that the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) had paid Acorn, … [who organized the] rent-a-mob…, “half a million dollars for the year.”

From the beginning, [Ms. Sackler] requested meetings with then UFT President Randi Weingarten, or anyone representing the union position. They refused.

[A] scene from the film [featured] a City Council hearing on charter school expansion. “The UFT … were caught giving out scripted cue cards with specific questions for City Council members to ask charter representatives in the city.” … [Ms. Sackler]  watched as the scripted questions were repeated and repeated and repeated.

“Going into it one of [my] goals was to expose one myth . . . which is that some parents don’t care,” says Ms. Sackler. “The reason for telling the parents’ stories is that I never thought that was true.”

In the film, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker says he can’t go to lotteries anymore because they break his heart. “A child’s destiny should not be determined on the pull of a draw.”

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