If you’re in need of new reasons to get depressed about inner-city schools, HBO has something for you tonight at 9 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific time). It’s the debut of a 2-hour documentary titled “Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card.”
Filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond spent a year shooting footage inside a Baltimore high school... a school whose proud past includes alumnus Thurgood Marshall.
HBO is marketing “Hard Times at Douglass High” as a critique of President Bush’s education plan. But according to reviewers, the documentary is less about policy than about the thoroughgoing dysfunction of ghetto culture.
“[This] dismaying film isn’t really asking whether No Child Left Behind can help Douglass,” writes a New York Times critic. “It’s asking whether anything can.”
A National Review Online reviewer sees “Hard Times” as an exposé of incompetent teachers and administrators; “Many are just plain bad at their jobs.”
I might catch this one on a later showing. Don’t think I’m up to it tonight. Below is a 1½-minute clip from the documentary: