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Local Filmmaker Tackles Education In New Documentary

A local filmmaker is taking on problems that face education in the U.S. The documentary is called "No Textbook Answer: Communities Confront The Achievement Gap". It will show at the "Little Art Theater" in Yellow Springs Saturday followed by a community discussion.

The achievement gap is a term that educators use to describe a problem that's common in the U.S. Minority and low-income students don't achieve the same things in school as their white and middle income counterparts. Local filmmaker Amy Lee went to eight communities, including schools in Avondale in the northern part of Cincinnati.

"We actually have kids in Cincinnati schools who weren't allowed to take their books home because teachers or school administration officials were concerned about getting the books back in proper shape," says Lee, "What kind of homework can you do if you're at most going to have a Xeroxed worksheet? That's not what people think about when they talk about an enriched learning environment."

Lee says a lack of resources is a common theme for many school districts in Ohio and across the country. She adds many communities know that something has change, but aren't always sure who should make it happen.

"I think what the message of this film is maybe instead of community's just demanding change of their school district, communities can be the change that is necessary to start closing the achievement gap," says Lee.

The film is supported by the Kettering Foundation. Lee says it will offer free copies of the documentary upon request. She hopes this will give communities a starting place for larger discussions on how to improve education at the local level.