Media Coverage

Library Journal

VERDICT An eye-opening and engaging look at contemporary education that realistically reveals its successes and its troubles. Purchase for school and public library collections serving those members of the community with a stake in education.”—ERNEST JAEGER, FORMERLY WITH NORTH PLAINFIELD PUB. SCHS., NJ

Pasadena Magazine: GO PUBLIC 

Our community and our country as a whole, needs to be awakened to the value of public schools. We can’t afford any more policies that undermine our schools.

Bold Radio: On the Right Road Interview with Paula Phillips

Американский Центр в Москве - American Center in Moscow, Russia

GO PUBLIC shows the issues within the American education system, but at the same time it captures all the good things that go on every day in the classroom.

At the Movies: Films Focused on Education Reform

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about documentary films that take a look at issues within the American education system. Whether you agree with the point of view of any of these films or not, they are sure to get you thinking.

EmpowerEd Georgia: Education Documentary Brings Athens Community Together, Builds Support for Public Education

“The Athens Cine screening was remarkably unique because of the way the film was used to bring together the Athens community in support of its public schools.  Seventeen local education and youth-oriented non-profits were on hand to engage the community, before and after the screenings, with info and volunteer sign-up opportunities.”

District Administration Magazine: Education on Film: Documenting the Realities of a Public School Day

We hope that as more and more people see this, wherever they see it, the discussion is not about the film,” says James O’Keeffe, an Emmy winner. The discussion is about their district and the commonalities they see. People should ask, How can we be more engaged? How can we show more support?

[The GO PUBLIC Project] succeeds in its objective to clear up misconceptions about what happens in American schools. Pasadena was chosen because it includes a richly diverse student body, dedicated personnel, programs for the learning disabled as well as for gifted students, extracurricular activities, and a large number of services for students, parents, and community members…An eye-opening and engaging look at contemporary education that realistically reveals its successes and its troubles.

Huffington Post: Why is Public Television Against Public Schools?

Although the film focuses on one school district, it could be about almost any public school system anywhere in the United States. This is what accounts for the film’s enormously positive reception among parents, teachers, administrators, and public school advocates in inner cities, affluent suburbs, and rural towns.

Video Librarian: Review of “GO PUBLIC”

[The GO PUBLIC film] serves as an effective rebuttal to critics of American public education.  Instead of depicting a troubled system characterized by uncaring teachers and unresponsive students, the film emphasizes the skill and dedication of the staff and the learning efforts of their young charges.

Recommended.

Accomplished California Teachers (ACT): ”GO PUBLIC” Film Offers Inside View of Schools

This is the nitty-gritty of public school life. The focus on quality, real quality, from everyone at school, is a heartening lesson for any viewers, voters, district decision-makers and educators. Could every school district, every classroom, every office, withstand this kind of exposure? Could our own ethics pass the documentary film test?

Go see GO PUBLIC, and take a voting citizen with you.  The film eloquently makes the point that public education is critical, it’s quality, and it’s worth the little bit of interest, protection and action from everyone who wants to live in a democratic society.

Edutopia: My “Academy Awards” for Best Educational Documentaries

Given the 50 different directors working in 50 different settings, this could have been a mess, but the combination of great footage and exceptional editing creates a powerful film.

The Washington Post: New Schools Documentary Screened in Fairfax

Toward the end of the documentary, the cameras capture a school board meeting where the members vote to cut staff. Later on, the film shows which teachers lost their jobs.  It was powerful.

Easy Reader News: “GO PUBLIC” Shows the Good and Bad of Public Schools

Ivie Sherman loves education movies. As a teacher at Redondo Union High School as well as a private tutor, she often seeks out films that throw public education into the public eye…I heard about it in the California Educator Magazine,” said Sherman. “It sparked my interest.

Videtteonline: Documentary Gives Insight on Public Schools

All we hear about in the news are test scores, comparisons to Finland and concerns about unions. GO PUBLIC helps bring to light the deeply human and interactive transactions that happen in schools throughout the day.

CTA Magazine: Movie Review: Go See GO PUBLIC

Go Public is an amazingly ambitious, layered, moving and inspirational film. It’s a call to action for stakeholders everywhere to support public schools — because they help children succeed, for the most part, despite dwindling resources. Go Public shows us what make public schools tick — the people — and reminds us that despite challenges, there’s also a great deal to celebrate and treasure in our schools.

Power of One: Interview with Dawn and Jim O’Keeffe

We have learned it is painful to watch financial decisions that are out of our control have such a destabilizing impact on our school sites. We have learned that teachers and administrators and support staff in our schools work very, very hard every day with less and less resources in an effort to serve all students with care and a commitment to excellence. We have learned that often what you read in the papers or see on television is not a true picture of public education. We have learned that we are in this for the long haul. We believe in the incredible value of public education!

Latina Lista: New Documentary Highlighting Good in Public Schools

Public schools and public school educators have been under attack a lot in the last few years. Politicians, ‘education reformists’ and even some parents and media have indulged in playing the blame game — blaming public schools for children not learning, for ‘bad’ teachers, for zero tolerance policies, for sending too many children of color to detention and alternative schools, etc..…

The O’Keefes wanted to change that negative public perception. So, they came up with an idea — show people what actually goes on in their local public schools throughout the course of one day.

NEA Today: Go Public: A Film That Champions Public Education

When a desperately needed parcel tax to support public education failed to pass in Pasadena, California, “filmmakers and public school parents Jim and Dawn O’Keeffe didn’t get mad, they got busy. ‘We were told by people that the main source for voters’ negative views about our public schools were films like Waiting for Supermanand anti-public education campaigns by so-called education reformers, they never went inside our schools to see what they were really like,’ explains Jim O’Keeffe, a director and cinematographer and professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts.  ’We realized this was our chance to give the public a look at what’s really happening inside our schools. If the voters had been in the schools and seen the great things happening there, perhaps the parcel tax vote outcome would have been different.’”

Progressive Action for the Common Good: PACG Education Forum Has An Impact

There was unanimous agreement that the film did a wonderful job of bringing to the public a true slice of life in an urban public school district and in doing so is a valuable tool to help combat the distortions and half-truths that have been widely used to attack public education.

Burbank International Film Festival: Winner of the President’s Innovation Award

BIFF created the “President’s Innovation Award” to honor a filmmaker or project that pushes the boundaries of filmmaking and takes cinematic storytelling to a new level through a fresh and innovative approach. We are very pleased to honor “Go Public” and its Producers James and Dawn O’Keefe with this years “President’s Innovation Award”.

CEA.ORG: Three Education and Labor Related Films Worth Checking Out This Fall

An NEA analysis finds “Go Public” is by far our favorite of the crop of education films opening this fall. The film is scheduled for national release in November, just in time for American Education Week. The film is a positive, accurate portrayal of the hardworking staff, parents, and administrators in our schools. The film’s producers created this film in direct response to “Waiting for Superman” and the need to show the public the real story and the real people within public schools.

Capital & Main: Film Review: ‘Go Public’

When you see what’s really going on at the schools it will impress and excite you, and make you want to be part of it,” suggests one of the women in the film. That is its true genius – to get many Americans, who have already decided that schools are a failure, into the public school classrooms to see the magic that can occur. As an antidote to the doom and gloom pronouncements of “Waiting for Superman” and other recent corporate-sponsored films, Go Public suggests that, with adequate funding, even school districts like Pasadena, where two-thirds of its 18,000 students come from poor families, can function just fine, thank you.

The Washington Post: Finally, a film that celebrates public education

Go Public” celebrates the small and large miracles that happen in Pasadena classrooms every day. We see overcrowded classrooms, but we also see an elementary teacher who greets each student with a special word of support as he or she arrives in her classroom. As you watch the students, teachers, parents, and others in the film, you will no doubt think about your own experiences with and stereotypes about public schools. Whether or not you or your children went (or go) to public school, we all have a stake in the quality of our public schools.

TruthOut: The Billionaires’ War Against Public Education

There is no narrator to offer hints about what we’re seeing and what we should think about it. The O’Keeffes have no axe to grind other than to present a balanced exploration into the lives of these families and educators. The filmmakers know all the pitfalls and problems that confront public schools. They sent their own four children to PUSD schools – three graduated in recent years and went to college. One will be a high school senior in the fall. It was not always an easy road for the family, but they persevered during frequent budget cuts, teacher layoffs, inadequate funding for the arts and sports, the revolving door of superintendents and top administrators, and the ideological and personal battles among school board members.

Pasadena Weekly: GO PUBLIC takes an unflinching look at a day in the life of local schools

“I’m glad they made the film,” said Pasadena Board of Education President Renatta Cooper. “Charter schools get so much PR like ‘Waiting for Superman,’ which was so biased against public education. I hope something like this that takes a slice of life view of one day in public education can go all the way.”

Pasadena Sun: Documentary of Pasadena Unified tells families to ‘GO PUBLIC’

More than 600 people gathered Wednesday at Paseo Colorado’s ArcLight Cinemas to watch a feature-length documentary filmed last year inside Pasadena public schools.

The film weaves together experiences of several students and teachers, an academic counselor, a school psychologist, a janitor, a baseball coach, librarians, principals, parents, a school board member and Supt. Jon Gundry.

Total Education Network: Diane Namm

Audio: Neil Shaley interviews GO PUBLIC director Diane Namm.

Pasadena Star News: Pasadena schools documentary ‘GO PUBLIC’ screens Wednesday

One year later, the students and faculty at Pasadena’s public schools are becoming movie stars.

A special screening of “Go Public: A Day in the Life of an American School District,” chronicling 50 people at Pasadena Unified School District, will play Wednesday at the ArcLight Cinema, with only a few tickets still available for the celebration.

The movie is a follow-up to the 50 short films already produced as part of the Go Public project, which spotlights the positive aspects of public education.

Hometown-Pasadena.com: GO PUBLIC at Arclight

Producers James W. O’Keeffe and Dawn O’Keeffe have been working tirelessly—initially to foster interest in the project, commitment and participation, then pulling together—and coordinating—a massive team of professionals, teachers, administrators, and students. The result is pretty amazing. And it’s all about our public schools. It’s funny, touching, heartbreaking, inspiring—and real.

Altadenablog.com: “GO PUBLIC” premiere May 8 at the Arclight

The premiere will take place a year to the day after the filming day, May 8, 2012. On that day, 50 film crews — everyone from experienced filmmakers to students — spread out to all the schools in PUSD to record a day in the life of their subjects. The subjects included everyone from board member Ramon Miramontes and Superintendent Jon Gundry to teachers, students, administrators, school psychologists, and volunteers.

Hometown-Pasadena.com: “GO PUBLIC” Kickstarter

…the [GO PUBLIC short] films have now been seen 14,200 times in 55 countries. The process of cutting the theatrical-length documentary has begun, and this has instigated a Kickstarter campaign to help fund post-production, marketing, and distribution.

Lake Avenue News: Interview with Jim & Dawn O’ Keeffe

[Jim O' Keeffe]: “We want our community to become better informed and better acquainted with our public schools, which are a critical and central part of our community; a foundational component. Pasadena is unique and has many educational options for students with 55 private schools in a 10 mile radius. We don’t pass judgment on parents who want to make a different choice than public school for their children. Public school is the path that we chose and we felt like it was time to stand up and say, “Hey take a look, there are great things going on in our public schools, some remarkable things actually, and people should have an accurate picture so the myths and inaccuracies are not repeated over and over again. Dawn has a saying that this documentary project will both “Celebrate and Educate”. It will celebrate the myriad of opportunities available in our public schools and educate people about the diversity of needs addressed every day. It will hopefully raise awareness, understanding and create more advocacy for our local public schools.”

SGVTribune.com: Funding sought for GO PUBLIC documentary project on Pasadena school district

The documentarians who sent 50 camera crews to Pasadena Unified School District in one day are in the midst of a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund their feature-length film.

GOOD: GO PUBLIC: Film Project Gives ‘Day in the Life’ Perspective to Public Schools

Think you know what it’s like to learn and work in a public school in the United States? Spend a little time watching Go Public, a film project that followed students, parents, volunteers, teachers, and school district staff in a suburban Los Angeles school district for one day last spring, and you’ll see public education with fresh eyes.

FilmCourage.com: A Day in the Life of Public Education: GO PUBLIC

They all have a job to do and that is to educate the next generation. The same job that all those that work in public education, teaching 90% of the children in this country. Everyone who thinks they know about public education by presenting a few bad apples, needs to spend a day at their public school before judgement. It certainly realigned my opinion. GO PUBLIC.

Edutopia.com: Five-Minute Film Festival: A Day in the Life of a Public School District

With all the media chatter about test scores, merit pay, failing schools, and teacher quality, it’s sometimes easy for those outside the school system to forget that it’s people — just everyday people with a calling for education — who make up that system. Enter the GO PUBLIC Project…

I tried to make sure not every clip was one that made me cry, but the truth is, getting such a close-up look at the passion and the beauty of the people who form the heart of public schools, and hearing their voices, is incredibly moving.

Hometown-Pasadena.com: Going Public With PUSD

For one day, they followed students, teachers, a custodian, a school board member, parents, a security guard, art instructors, the superintendent, a school psychologist, a band teacher, a coach, and community volunteers. As a result, they have 50 individual stories to tell.

Pasadena Star-News: Fifty Pasadena public school documentaries launch on GO PUBLIC website

Fifty slices of life within Pasadena Unified School District made their public debut Wednesday night, with the online launch of a documentary film project.
The GO PUBLIC project chronicles one day – May 8 – at all 28 school district campuses, following 50 students, teachers, administrators, volunteers and others.