When filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan isn’t making suspense films, he’s apparently writing books. Currently Shyamalan is touring to support his published book called “I Got Schooled.” Instead of catering to the subject of films, the Indian-American filmmaker decided to turn his newest venture into a more educational focused book.
Gathering at the apartment of former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, Shyamalan weighed in on a few of his educational stances, which will certainly cause some brows to raise. During the sit down, he spoke with Grace Hightower, Katie Couric, Alexandra Pelosi, Gilt Groupe founder Kevin Ryan, Newark school chief Cami Anderson and charter school founder Eva Moskowitz about his thoughts on the educational system in America.
Shyamalan’s stance on education in America mirrors one of a concerned parent:
“In America, we’re actually educating our kids very well… but just the white kids. If you pull out schools in which 85 percent of students qualify for a free meal, which are predominantly African-American and Hispanic, the data show that the rest of the kids are being taught better in America than anywhere else in the world. Countries like Finland teach their white kids well, and we teach our white kids better.”
Shyamalan is on to something here. According to the Institute of Education Sciences:
Overall, 41 percent of 4th-graders were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in 2005. White 4th-graders had the lowest percentage of eligible students (24 percent). The percentages of Black and Hispanic 4th-graders (70 and 73 percent) who were eligible were three times the percentages of White 4th-graders who were eligible, and the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 4th-graders (65 percent) who were eligible was nearly three times that of Whites.
In addition M. Night Shyamalan’s comments on minorities being behind is pretty accurate if going by statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics:
“On the long-term National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), White students continue to outperform Black and Hispanic students in both reading and mathematics. The score gaps for Black and White students were smaller in 2004 than in the early 1970s for both assessments and all three age groups tested.”
M. Night Shyamalan’s book focuses on the five key points on how to close the gap in America’s education system.