Last night I watched the movie, American Promise on PBS, a story about the ups and downs (mostly downs) of two African American boys attending The Dalton School, one of the most elite private schools in this country.
The movie while very good was also very hard to watch. It was hard watching the boys struggle and just as hard watching their parents struggle right along with them. Although I think it’s fair to note that one of the boys in the movie had a learning disability and which calls into question whether it was truly the “African American male” experience at Dalton.
That said, I learned a lot from last night’s movie. I learned that when looking at schools for my kids what should matter most is whether the school is a good fit for my children based on their personality and interests and not the school’s reputation, which is not the way I thought just a little while ago.
Growing up I always thought that prestige is what most mattered most. If it’s an elite school then it’s a good fit, end of story.
Well, after watching last night’s movie I see now that is not the case. Hats off to the boys who eventually hit their stride, to the parents for making such a deeply personal film and to The Dalton School for having the conversation.