Release date:September 30, 2011
Studio:First Run Features
Directors:Vanessa Roth, Brian McGinn
As the debate over the state of America's public school system rages on, one thing everyone agrees on is the need for great teachers. Yet, while research proves that teachers are the most important school factor in a child's future success, America's teachers are so woefully underpaid that almost a third must divide their time between a second job in order to make a living. Chronicling the stories of four teachers in different areas of the country, American Teacher reveals the frustrating realities of today's educators, the difficulty of attracting talented new teachers, and why so many of our best teachers feel forced to leave the profession altogether. But this wake-up call to our system's failings also looks at possibilities for reform. Can we re-value teaching in the United States and turn it into a prestigious, financially attractive and competitive profession? With almost half of American teachers leaving the field in the next five years, now is the time to find out.