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A scene from the movie The Cartel
Genre Documentary
MPAA rating Unrated
Release Date Apr 15, 2010
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The Cartel

Teachers punished for speaking out. Principals fired for trying to do the right thing. Union leaders defending the indefensible. Bureaucrats blocking new charter schools. These are just some of the people we meet in "The Cartel." The film also introduces us to teens who can't read, parents desperate for change, and teachers struggling to launch stable alternative schools for inner city kids who want to learn. Behind every dropout factory, we discover, lurks a powerful, entrenched, and self-serving… Show more

Bob Bowdon

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April 30, 2010 - Boston.com - Wesley Morris, Globe Staff

In Bob Bowdon’s documentary, “The Cartel,’’ you can tell when an educational fact or statistic is important. A telestrator boxes or circles it. Or the narration takes advantage of rhetorical devices, telling us: let’s do this, or, if you look up that. The names of new chapters are scribbled on a cartoon chalkboard: “Unions,’’ “Patronage,’’ “Vouchers.’’ Actually, everything in Bowdon’s rant about America’s woeful public school system is important, including Bowdon.

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