Marek's film is a 70-minute documentary entitled Irreplaceables: Why Teachers Matter Most was shot in collaboration with over a half dozen public schools in and around Detroit.
Schools and districts around the nation serving at-risk students have been on a fast track trying to fix ongoing academic failures. Numerous changes to policy, testing requirements, standards, curricula, and school models have come and gone, but the achievement gap still looms large -- and with students and teachers on test-overload, there are still no great gains to show for it. Meanwhile, the research overwhelmingly shows that, of all the work that occurs at every level of our education system, the interaction between teacher and student is the primary determinant of student success.
The Irreplaceables aims to give teachers a voice on issues of education and the profession of teaching. With excellent teachers leaving the field and a frightening drop off in young, talented individuals entering the field, we need to reconsider how we view the profession of teaching and value those who shape the lives of our children on a daily basis.