"Race to Nowhere" Testimonials

“‘Race to Nowhere’ is a must-see documentary for parents, teachers and the young people we care for and work with, so that a new national dialogue can emerge around re-engineering school to meet its real purpose: to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for students to discover their passions and future without sacrificing their health, well-being, and youthfulness itself in the process.”
- Patrick Bassett, President, National Association of Independent Schools


“A powerful and well-crafted reminder that the dubious benefits of a higher GPA must be weighed against real suffering and years that are lost forever.” - Alfie Kohn, Author of The Schools Our Children Deserve


“I really feel the burden placed on students is not only detrimental, but short-sighted and even barbaric... I truly appreciate all the work and the excellent job you are doing with this!  I intend to share the documentary with friends and family who haven’t seen it. Thank you!” - David C., Parent, Nederland, CO


“The Prince of Wales was very grateful for a copy of your film ‘Race to Nowhere.’ The film provides a fascinating insight into some of the issues concerning education systems in the West and beyond — and the serious impact these can have on young people.” - Wing Commander, Richard Pattle


“I thought about how frustrated I am when I listen to programs that just complain about problems but don’t offer solutions.  I’m always left feeling hopeless — what can I, as an individual do? The message of your film is:  PLENTY, particularly if folks get together and come up with strategies that work for their community.” - Lisa, Parent, Oakland, CA


“Race to Nowhere’ [gives us] a new vantage point regarding the extreme toll that this can take on kids and families. It takes a very concerted effort and the ability to prioritize, be able to say no, and let go of what other people think about what you are not doing. We left a very busy, Type A life behind! It was hard to do... but we took the opportunity to set up a new life. Things are much easier and simpler now, but we still have to work hard at protecting our priorities!” - Amy, Parent, Croton, NY


“If anyone — teachers, administrators, PTA board members — needs to be convinced of the urgency of this issue, they should watch “Race to Nowhere.” Our kids our counting on us to tame the monster [this] has become.” - Alice Dragoon, Parent, Lexington, MA

“I think that ‘Race to Nowhere’ is a great vehicle for change as it’s a great place for… cultural attitude changes and it’s a great way to inspire... lobbying for public policies. It’s a movie that takes that direct work that micro work, the student experience, that one-on-one connection that really inspires change and brings it to the next level. I think that’s what’s so fantastic about ‘Race to Nowhere.’” - Christine C., Student, Northeastern University


“In February 2012, I screened ‘Race to Nowhere’ at the PayPal Town Hall to my colleagues and local community.  What I enjoy most about ‘Race to Nowhere’ is that it isn’t prescriptive; it merely provides a lens into the lives of children, who are on the receiving end of educational policy, and it unflinchingly shows the effects those policies have on our children and our families. There is a growing concern of what happens when these children move on to the workforce. We need employees that can define and solve problems; problems that do not have known nor correct answers. The ability to critically think is paramount as is the ability to gracefully fail and own mistakes. In other words, we need the complete opposite of what 12+ years of schooling provides. We should carefully consider the academic metrics by which we hold children accountable, because metrics drive behavior, and as this film shows, the behavior we want is not what we’re getting. It’s time to reexamine our goals as a community and ensure the education we want for our children is what they are getting. ‘Race to Nowhere’ is a great first step in this dialog.” - Bil Corry, PayPal, Luxembourg


“The film provided the platform for a much needed dialogue around balance. School leaders have been given the opportunity and responsibility to restore balance to the lives of our students.” - Joe Ianora, Principal, San Ramon, CA

“I’m a school superintendent that wants to fix our broken system and am the lone voice in the woods right now. I need to be a part of something bigger. I want in!” - Dave Tebo, Superintendent, Hamilton, MI

“Tonight’s event was very special for us all at Google. I’ve never seen such emotion surface. Clearly,people were able to relate to the message. We all have those devastating stories, but they’re usually locked up inside. As parents, we hurt to see our children paying the price for our collective misunderstandings. My first phone call, when I got home, was to my son in Arizona. I just wanted to hear his voice. He said, ‘you can call me every night.’” - Ann F., Google, San Francisco

“There was something about watching ‘Race to Nowhere’ in our community that made people stop and think that we could change the experience for our children and make it better. A culture that supports student health and well-being can co-exist with a culture that supports student achievement and academic excellence. The two are not competing interests, but rather complementary interests. Well-rested, well-balanced students perform better academically and in every aspect of life.” - Dr. Anne Robinson,Parent and Pediatrician, Ridgewood, NJ

“I would just like to thank you for your efforts. I’m a parent of two teenage girls, a pediatrician, and a medical educator with a master’s degree in education and I have become increasingly distressed and disturbed by the culture of  high school education. I’ve been fighting the homework battle at my daughters’ school with only limited success. Thank you for all you have done.” - Stuart Slavin, Pediatrician and Educator, St. Louis, MO


“I wanted to let you know, that if it were not for you and the film and knowing that there are things the parents can do, I would not have done anything or would have not known where to start!  This is truly going to be life changing for so many and I will see it through thanks to you and your efforts!”  - Myra, Parent, Placerville, CA

“The film is amazing and identifies one of the most problematic issues in math education - the pushing down of math content to earlier and earlier grades. Math has become a performance subject for so many students, and it is no longer about appreciation of ideas, mathematical beauty or application, it is about who can do it and who can not. It has been disastrous for students, of all grade levels. Math really is the worst offender among the school subjects when it comes to stress, which is extremely frustrating as we know that schools use approaches that are oppositional to those we know work from research on learning. We have the research on good teaching approaches in math, which happen to be non-stressful and result in higher achievement.” - Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University

“The Michigan Association of College Admissions Counseling (MACAC) was given an award this fall  for our advocacy day and ‘Race to Nowhere’ program. Vicki’s name was mentioned on stage!! What an honor.” - Kim Bryant, University of Michigan Admissions Office, Michigan

“What happens to our children today affects all of us tomorrow. Our future demands better. Our children deserve better. Please join ASCD, the gifted artists responsible for ‘Race to Nowhere’, and all those who care about the education of children in dialogue about how to ensure each child, in each of our schools, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.” - Gene Carter, Executive Director and CEO, ASCD

“This film challenges all members of the school community to begin having courageous conversations about how to best support student learning in the 21st century.” - Kirby Hoy, San Ramon Valley Unified School District