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Video assays school issues


HAMILTON — Hamilton resident Geoff Berne is not a professional script writer, but a chance meeting with a television produer five years ago led him to write and co-produce a video program exploring the federal No Child Left Behind act.

A documentary about the impact of the legislation, signed by President Bush in Hamilton in 2002, will air tonight on TvHamilton, the city’s cable station.

The documentary, called “No Child Left Behind Report: Public Education in the Crosshairs,” includes interviews of educators and legislators from around the state, including Cincinnati, Dayton and Hamilton.

Berne, a former university lecturer, said he got involved in the project after e-mailing a friend about the signing.

The friend, Todd Alan Price, was a station director at WYOU-TV in Madison, Wis. Price, now a professor of education at National-Louis University in Chicago, was so interested in the topic that he came to Hamilton for the ceremony.

By the end of the weekend, he and Berne, 66, had developed the idea for a documentary that explored how the act’s emphasis on standardized testing has changed the culture of education.

Berne, who once campaigned against sending private school tuition vouchers to public school students, said he was motivated to take part in the production because he felt his children benefited greatly from public education. His two children graduated from Hamilton City Schools.

Berne said he was alarmed by sections of the act that require low-performing public schools to be turned over to private operators.

“I have an interest in this not as a professional activist,” he said. “This has really been a labor of love for me.”

— Jennifer Mrozowski
Cincinnati Enquirer


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