North Olmsted school officials are inviting all community members – parents, students, grandparents, young adults, senior citizens, business members, civic leaders and anyone interested in taking a re-imagined look at education – to a free viewing of the documentary “Most Likely to Succeed” on Tuesday, April 18 at North Olmsted High School.
The original screening scheduled for March 14 was cancelled because of bad weather.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. April 18 screening of this award-winning documentary that takes a compelling look at the future of education and what skills our children will need for their 21st-century world.
This groundbreaking documentary has won awards at major film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival (NYC), the Sundance Festival and the Cleveland International Film Festival.
Superintendent Mike Zalar lauded the film.
“The film showcases how some schools are implementing 21st-century teaching and learning principles with their students,” he said. “I am looking forward to engaging our community in a conversation around these ideas, especially since we are in the process of building a new grades 6-12 campus with many of these concepts in mind. This will be a great opportunity for parents and community members to see how schools need to change to prepare students for the future.
“The changes that are taking place in society are driving the need for change in education. To achieve 21st-century readiness for every student, we need to have a shared vision among all of the key stakeholders regarding the necessary skills and abilities our students need to be successful in college, career and citizenship in general.
“We are working on building consensus around the idea of what we want a “Profile of a Graduate” to look like in the North Olmsted City Schools. We want to solicit input from our parents and community that will help us further develop and refine our vision for 21st-century education. This is a transformational journey and we are excited to be working together with our students, parents, staff and community to ensure our graduates are ready for the future.”
In the first part of the film, director Greg Whitely shows how the current U.S. K-12 education system was largely patterned after the Prussian school system at the urging of Horace Mann in the middle of the 19th century. Such a system has become outdated, Whitely argues, as future artificial intelligence systems will soon have the ability to do many of the jobs the U.S. education system has trained Americans to do.
Filmmakers visited High Tech High, a California charter school where students follow an unconventional, project-based model of learning. There, “soft skills,” like confidence and time management, are valued above the memorization of facts, and tests give way to students’ collaborative projects.
“Most Likely To Succeed” looks at the need for education reform from a completely apolitical point of view.
In a companion book entitled “Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era,” authors Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools.
“We collectively are pushing our education system in the exact wrong direction, and beating on it to go faster,” Dintersmith wrote on his Educating for the 21st Century website (www.edu21c.com/). “When we should be educating our students to be bold problem solvers, we’re pushing them to memorize and regurgitate. When they’ll be entering an economy where their best job opportunity will be the job they can create, we’re educating them to be mindless hoop-jumpers. And until parents, government officials and the press wise up, educators will be pushed to do the wrong thing, and our children’s futures will be jeopardized.
“We live in a world that values creativity, innovation and passion; don’t let your child’s education crush those capabilities out of her.”
The Fairview Park City Schools sponsored a screening of the documentary in January 2017.
For more information about the film and to watch a trailer, visit www.mltsfilm.org.
Associate editor Jeff Gallatin and staff writer Kevin Kelley contributed to this story.