Sparking A Dialogue

hfff_homefeatFour of the GO PUBLIC shorts were screened at the High Falls Film Festival followed by a panel discussion with education experts from the area.

The panel discussion was moderated by Susan Rogers, Executive VP and General Manager of WXXI, the local PBS Station, and the panel included:

  • Lesli Myers, Superintendent, Brockport Central School District
  • Sheelarani Webster, Principal, World of Inquiry School 58
  • Gladys Lopez, Teacher, Theadore Roosevelt School 43
  • Dawn O’Keeffe, Filmmaker & Producer, GO PUBLIC Project

Many topics were discussed ranging from the “perception” that public education is broken, dual language immersion programs, the special needs of immigrant students and families, the impact of budget cuts, charter schools and the challenge to districts when families relocate to avoid schools struggling under a “poor reputation.”

The audience was engaged and asked thoughtful questions about the new common core standards, administrative costs versus funds going to the classroom and how best to support local schools. The audience was encouraged to find out for themselves. Don’t rely on heresay. Visit. Walk the halls. Meet the principal. Talk to teachers about what they need. Become an informed advocate. Champion your local public schools. Maybe, if you are open to exploring the truth, the truth will…encourage you!

It is wonderful that the GO PUBLIC short films bring to life the voices of those actually living the public school experience.  We are hopeful that this is just the beginning for the GO PUBLIC Project being used as a catalyst to engage communities in a more hopeful, informed conversation around public education.

Event info: