Tag Archives: Vicki Abeles

Race to Nowhere: Helping Kids Step off the Academic Treadmill

A fellow music education advocate recommended the film Race to Nowhere. I must say that I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film, but the trailer echoes many of the frustrations with the direction of education that we’ve discussed here previously. The film is being screened in selected markets and will be released this fall.

The film website also has links, resources, and tools to get behind this message. It’s also important to note that testimonials indicated that the movie leaves you with a sense of hope rather than just taking the easy route of bashing education and leaving the viewer frustrated.

While we generally discuss music education in this forum, many of the themes addressed in this documentary are questions we raise in that debate including:

  • Personalized approach to students’ needs
  • The importance of a well-rounded school experience (educated vs. informed students)
  • The pressure to perform on standardized tests (schools, students, and teachers)
  • Developing the ability to think rather than memorize
  • Redefining success

As I’ve stated previously here in a letter to the Aspen’s Institute on No Child Left Behind, “Our ability to meet performance metrics is meaningless if those metrics are not a true measure of the needs of our students.” Any thoughts from those who may have seen this film would be appreciated.

Startling statistics
A letter from the Director Vicki Abeles