Sponsored by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, C4DC, and Teaching for Change, a free DC screening of the Matt Damon film Backpack Full of Cash will be held on Thursday, November 16, at 6 pm.
The screening will take place at DCPS’s Columbia Heights Educational Campus
(3101 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010).
Released about a year ago and featured in DC’s film festival this past spring, Backpack Full of Cash outlines the anti-democratic privatization of public schools in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and other American cities–along with how Union City, NJ, is bucking the trend.
A panel discussion will follow this November 16 screening, including Leslie Fenwick of the Howard University School of Education; Joshua Starr, former superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools; and Stanley Sanger, former superintendent of Union City Schools.
Expect an interesting conversation–albeit probably not with a lot said by any DC education leader.
Oh, yeah, all the usual suspects have been invited: all the members of our city council, along with the mayor, the deputy mayor for education (DME) Jennifer Niles, DCPS chancellor Antwan Wilson, and charter board executive director Scott Pearson.
Turns out, the original plan for this special DC screening, to be held this month at our city hall, the Wilson Building (at which most of those city leaders have offices), was scuttled when mayoral staffers noticed, weeks after film organizers reserved a space in the Wilson Bldg., an impossible-to-resolve conflict with the same space.
Thankfully, this show WILL go on–and it’s a good one. For those who see how some of our DC public schools are shamefully neglected, the wholesale writing out of the public in our public school governance, and the unresponsiveness of public officials in that, be sure to go to see a better way for DC’s future.