Schools That Change Communities, Bob Gliner's 2012 film, provides a view of what we should be aspiring to in schools. Let's call it aspiring to high standards within the context of respecting the whole child and grounding education in place and community.
Gliner has made a number of previous films that illustrate healthy, balanced approaches to education. In Lessons from the Real World, he illustrates approaches to reading, math, and other subjects in which students care about what they are learning because the subject matter relates to their real lives. In Democracy Left Behind, he “examines the impact of No Child Left Behind on the ability of schools to serve a civic mission—demonstrating how difficult it is now for many students to understand what their education means in the larger context of the society and world they inhabit.” Gliner's films aren't slickly produced, but they have a lot of heart. And their somewhat homegrown quality is reflective of the value of grassroots, uniquely crafted, educational solutions to the problems of American schools.