A new documentary to be aired on PBS portrays the challenges principals face in turning around low-performing public schools and raising student achievement. The film, “The Principal Story,” chronicles a year in the lives of two principals: one in her second year in the Chicago Public School System; and the other, a seven-year veteran in Springfield, Ill.
In the film, the principals motivate teachers and students by using data to make better decisions, offering professional development and training for struggling teachers, and allocating resources to build a learning community within and beyond the school. The documentary reveals the complex social and political connections among children, parents, teachers, principals and superintendents. It also brings attention to the commitment and skill required to improve public schools in which more than 85 percent of students come from families living below the poverty-line.
Produced by Nomadic Pictures, “The Principal’s Story” airs nationally on PBS’ acclaimed P.O.V. series on September 15. Check local listings for station and air time. For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/pov/.