Documentary on High Stakes of Standardized Testing Screened at Ithaca College

By David Maley, March 24, 2016

Documentary on High Stakes of Standardized Testing Screened at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY—Ithaca College will host a free public screening of the documentary “Tested,” which follows a dozen families as their eighth graders prepare to pass the grueling standardized test to get into one of New York City’s best high schools. The film will be shown on Tuesday, March 29, at 5 p.m. in Textor 103.

An audience Q&A with filmmaker Curtis Chin will follow.

The gap in opportunities for different races in America remains extreme. Nowhere is this more evident than in our nation’s top public schools. In New York City, where blacks and Hispanics make up 70 percent of the city’s school-aged population, they represent less than 5 percent at the city’s most elite public high schools. Meanwhile, Asian Americans make up as much as 73 percent.

“Tested” follows a dozen racially and socioeconomically diverse students as they fight for a seat at one of these schools. Their only way in is to ace a single standardized test. The documentary includes the voices of education experts Pedro Noguera and Diane Ravitch as it explores such issues as access to a high-quality public education, affirmative action and the model-minority myth.

Premiered at the 2015 DOC NYC film festival, “Tested” was named by The Village Voice as one of the festival’s best. In November, it was screened at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

Curtis co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. His first film, “Vincent Who?” detailed the 1982 beating death of a Chinese American man in Detroit by two white autoworkers, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments arising from massive layoffs in the auto industry.

The screening is co-sponsored by Ithaca College’s All College Teacher Education Committee and Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity.