Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Public-School Tale Finds Voice ; Actor Coyote to Narrate Doc on Education

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Public-School Tale Finds Voice ; Actor Coyote to Narrate Doc on Education

Article excerpt

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - An Emmy Award-winning narrator is now part of a West Lafayette schools documentary that officials hope will serve as a catalyst in reshaping the national dialogue surrounding public education. Peter Coyote, who has appeared in more than 100 films, including "E. T." and "Erin Brockovich," and has narrated more than 165 documentaries, will lend his voice to the in-progress documentary "Rise Above the Mark."

West Lafayette Superintendent Rocky Killion made the announcement Thursday afternoon before screening the film's second trailer for teachers and administrators gathered in the West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High auditorium.

"We are on a mission to raise awareness about what's happening in public education," Killion told the assembled teachers. "We are on a mission to tell our story."

Production began last year on the film, which is expected to be released this spring. The first trailer was released in August, the Journal & Courier reported.

It included interviews with education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education; former Finnish minister of education Pasi Sahlberg; and Marc Tucker, CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy and author of the five-year education report "Tough Choices or Tough Times."

Since then several more names have been added to the project, including author and speaker Jamie Vollmer and Seth Phillips, principal of P. S. 8 in Brooklyn.

"As hard as my days have gotten here sometimes - I've had some hard days - I can always say at least I'm not in Indiana," Phillips says in the second trailer.

In 2011, amid a heated and polarizing debate, state legislators enacted a bevy of education reform laws, including the nation's most expansive system for providing tax-funded vouchers for public school students to transfer to private schools.

"You hear often about the bottom line," said high school science teacher Dave Collins. …

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