Reason.tv: Director of School Choice Documentary "The Lottery" - Madeline Sackler

Should the future of lower-income children be determined by their ZIP codes? By public school bureaucrats?

Reason.tv Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie sat down with Madeline Sackler, director of the critically acclaimed documentary, The Lottery, which follows four students in New York vying for a coveted slot at Harlem Success Academy. Entry to the school is by drawing and the odds are long: Only one in seven applicants gets in. The reason so many people want to attend? The charter school boasts having 95 percent of students at grade level, compared to 56 percent at other city public schools

Sackler's film does more than brilliantly dramatize the heartbreaking results of each year's application lottery. It showcases how school choice can radically improve education for the poorest of students. "I'd been hearing that problems in public education where poverty based or culture based or because certain parents didn't value education, and yet, what I saw was totally contradictory to that," explains Sackler.

Approximately 8.30 minutes. Shot by Dan Hayes and Jack Gillespie. Edited by Dan Hayes.

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  • ||

    *male gaze*

  • ||

    Pack of crazy fools. Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while. Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns.

    There's always been a lottery.

  • Anonymous||

    She's sort of cute... isn't she?

  • Urkobold™||

    STOP GAZING OFF!

  • ||

    She may be cute, but she damn near put me to sleep two minutes in. Where did you dig her up Nick?

  • Progressive||

    We resent you using the "Life's Lottery" argument against us.

  • ||

    she has perfected a way of talking that utilizes the least possible amount of air, barely moving enough air between her vocal cords to move them away from each other. Take a breath, girl! Then breath again before you become cyanotic.

  • ||

    What's amazing is that after making an entire movie about people wanting to get the hell out of public education, she still think race to the top will solve the problem by throwing more money at the DOE. Umm....

  • stlgretchen||

    You are absolutely right. RTTT does nothing but give local control to the feds (which constitutionally is not legal), and puts states into even more debt. What sense does this make? Loss of control...for what?...more debt and federal mandates THAT WON'T WORK. RTTT is a nightmare.

  • ||

    I don't think she thinks that Race to the Top is THE solution to this problem. She probably hopes that the program will foster or help foster real school reforms. Even if it doesn't, she seems to think that school reforms will happen anyway or hopes they will.

  • ||

    "We talked to Democrats on both sides of the spectrum." Oh, so that's where her "apolitical" definition comes from? She also talks like a stoner from the 70's, which has its charm. Anyway, she sounds like she is fairly liberal, but was able to break from the Dem mind-prison long enough to take an honest look at school reform. Kudos to her. I look forward to watching the film.

  • Ring||

    You know, this demonstrates that money is not the source of the problems for schools.

    If 95% of the charter school kids are at grade level compared to public school, you can't say those kids came from better backgrounds or had a better head start because it was lottery based. If you put the charter school kids into public school and 56% of them failed, it would be down to the failures of the public school and the fact that charter schools are so much better, not because they get more cash.

  • camel cig||

    Each school will be offered to help poor students to continue their studies, but see a lot more are on the other hand, when it comes to money, deferred ...

  • Government||

    Parents should not have any choices when it comes to educating our children.

    Except for those of us in Government. We must be able to send our personal offspring* to Sidwell Friends on the taxpayer dime. But that can be the only exception.

    *As opposed to the collective's children. Offspring of the peasant class do not rate such an education.

  • Al From Bay Shore||

    Here is the BIGGEST problem with this interview: its featured on a libertarian website and ONLY discusses educational choice solely within the context of government run education.

    Duh?! Government run education, as a monopoly, IS the problem. Calling for more charter schools won't solve a thing. True school choice allows for private school tuition to be deducted from federal and state income taxes.

  • ||

    "Should the future of lower-income children be determined by their ZIP codes? By public school bureaucrats?"

    Or by genetics? Like it will be anyway. Because we're the products of evolution and can't tax-and-spend or dream our way out of our physical limitations.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • Jordan Shoes||

    so perfect.

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