United We Learn and The Education They Deserve

United We Learn is a grassroots organization that strives to promote equitable funding and opportunities for all students in Chicago and Illinois. The organization is launching a film, The Education They Deserve, on Sept. 16th at Northwestern University that highlights the disparities between some of the best Chicago-area high schools and some of the worst.

Vignettes of teachers, parents and students are used to compare and contrast the high school experience, in a Two Million Minutes-like style. One student states that her high school African American literature class used a 5th grade textbook for instruction. Students who attend the top public schools talk about their 30+ scores on the ACT, while students at some of the worst schools discuss their scores in the teens. One teacher states “The kids that are behind need the best gym, not the worst one.”

While it’s true that funding alone will not fix these schools, having financial resources definitely helps. The film accurately highlights the economic disparities of public school funding, but the real question is: what actions will state lawmakers take next?

A short version of the film is available now, and the full-length feature will be released next week.

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