03/24/17 - Night School - Documentary
Night School is a feature vérité documentary investigating adult education and the dropout epidemic plaguing inner-city America. The film offers an inside look at a cutting-edge high school located in one of the most violent neighborhoods in America, and the brave students who attend it. Night School closely follows three students over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, as they attempt to improve their lives and confront their fears about education. Following students with significant personal challenges, Night School is not just a film about adult education, but an intimate look at the roadblocks facing many underprivileged individuals as they attempt to move upward in society. In a place where simply surviving often trumps education, these students boldly challenge the notion that folks at the bottom are takers, not makers.
In 2005, a study found that the Indianapolis public schools had the lowest graduation rate of any large American city, with only 30 percent of freshmen graduating on time. In 2013, the average high school graduation rate in the nation’s 50 largest cities was just 53 percent. In inner-city Cleveland, for example, only 38 percent of high school freshmen graduated within four years, compared with 80 percent in the Cleveland suburbs. Nationwide, 76% of African American students will attend a failing school at some point.
Night School is an intimate look at the face of the working poor and those working to empower themselves to move upward in society. Each year in America, it is becoming harder and harder for those at the bottom of society to move to the top, as upward mobility has virtually come to a stand still. More than three million students in the United States drop out of high school every year – 8,000 students per day – one student every 26 seconds. After dropping out, these students are ineligible for almost 90% of jobs in the United States and account for more than 75% of crimes committed. It's estimated that high school dropouts cost America about 6.6 billion dollars in potential GDP growth annually.
Is the American Dream still alive for those willing to work and sacrifice for it? This is the essential question Night School asks.
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