Yesterday, I watched "Race to Nowhere" at the elementary school (Anthony Chabot) I'm student teaching at right now. The documentary had several themes through which it put its arguments forward. I'm going to lay those out.
Claim: Workloads in elementary through high schools cause stress. Stress leads to emotional and physiological problems (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, depression). So, the workloads in elementary through high school lead to emotional and physiological problems.
Claim: School related depressions lead to student suicides.
Claim: Half of the high school students who graduate and go straight to college are not actually ready for college.
Claim: Students in elementary through high school are too preoccupied with homework. They don't have enough time to enjoy their childhood or engage with what they're passionate about.
Claim: In the end, it doesn't matter which university that you get into.
Claim: Every aspect, whether academic or extracurricular is geared towards getting into college. That is a distraction from the goal of learning.
Claim: Strong emphasis on grades and homework leads to cheating.
Claim: Some students choose classes based on what has the highest likelihood of raising one's GPA.
Claim: The amount of homework that is given is an ethical issue.
I think that a lot of these claims are interesting. I would like to address the extent to which they are true and how significant the claims are. I'll address a few at a time in future posts. But, at least you have a gist of what claims the documentary makes.