Demeaned, suspended, expelled ..."teached." Why are so many students, especially African American boys, not fulfilling their potential? Why do we still have a race-based "achievement gap" in the U.S.? TEACHED is a series of short films examining these and related issues. Produced by Loudspeaker Films, TEACHED is a non-profit project sponsored by the International Documentary Association. It is complimented by our online interview series On the Loudspeaker. Film synopses below.


On a Friday night after a long week at work, Calvin Davis joined his family in Southwest Washington, DC for an informal gathering. Still wearing scrubs from his job at Children’s National Medical Center, Calvin caught up with an old friend while his two boys rode bikes around the block. When police followed his fifteen year-old home, pulling on gloves as they approached the teenager, Calvin intervened to ask “Why? What did he do?” How these questions escalated into a night in jail for a father with no prior record will make you “Think of Calvin” next time you question racial profiling or how America has become the world’s most prolific jailer. (Running time: 20 min.)


This film examines Oakland's evolution through the eyes of social entrepreneurs determined that youth of color not be left on the sidelines as Silicon Valley spreads into the home of the second largest black community in California. Kalimah Priforce, whose first activism was a hunger strike at age eight, and Kimberly Bryant, a successful engineer turned founder of Black Girls Code, are preparing youth to redesign the future through the power of coding. Joined on the national stage by #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, their work represents the cusp of a movement to change both the face and future of technology in America. But is Silicon Valley ready to be hacked? (Running time: 21 min.)


The discourse around education reform—especially on issues involving teachers—lacks nuance, thoughtfulness and, often, commonsense. Simplistic “pro-“ and “anti-“ teacher rhetoric is distracting from efforts to improve teacher quality, especially in schools serving urban, minority children. What do teachers themselves say about the profession and whether it is serving students’ needs...not to mention their own? (Running time: 18 min.) 

The Blame Game


Charter school founders are pioneers of public education reform, staking their claim in the K-12 education landscape by founding new schools in many historically underserved communities. But twenty years after the first charter school opened its doors, many Americans are still confused by what these independently-operated, publicly-funded schools are, and question why they are not all performing well. Was the charter formula wrong? What can the best charter school leaders teach the rest? (Running time: 16 min.)

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The United States now bears the ominous title as the planet’s most prolific jailer: with only 5% of the population, we represent 25% of the world’s incarcerated. The vast majority of our inmates are illiterate, and an inordinate number are people of color. One young man’s story helps explain how so many capable and intelligent youth, especially African-American males, end up behind bars in "the land of the free." (Running time: 8 min.)

The Path to Prison