The View from Room 205 by Linda Lutton
This one-hour documentary takes an unflinching look at the intersection of poverty and education in our country. It tells the story of a fourth grade classroom at William Penn Elementary, a public school in one of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side. The piece weaves together human stories in the school, from the children to their teacher to the principal, and pulls back to explain the big picture. It looks at poverty’s hold on school achievement and explores the unintended consequences of a core belief driving school reform today – that poverty is no excuse for low achievement. Peabody Award-winning reporter Linda Lutton of WBEZ Chicago spent months reporting from Penn and the neighborhood around the school. Her work tackles fundamental questions about how we educate poor children, and whether schools can actually overcome poverty. It documents - often painfully - how we struggle and fail to lift poverty’s burdens off children. It is an hour that is personal, up-close, story-driven, and of far-reaching national importance.