Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Cartel comes to Bergen County

Bergen LEADS is the County’s premier leadership program for adults. Led by former County Executive William “Pat Schuber,” LEADers meet monthly to dissect and debate issues that affect local residents and businesses.

This month, Bergen LEADS will tackle the topic of Education. On December 15, the seminar day will begin with a screening of the highly acclaimed documentary The Cartel. This thought provoking and controversial film, directed by Bob Bowdon - a New Jersey-based television producer, reporter, news anchor, and commentator - takes a hard look at the public education system using New Jersey as a backdrop. According to the filmmaker:

"The Cartel shows us our New Jersey educational system like we've never seen it
before. Behind every dropout factory, we discover, lurks a powerful, entrenched,
and self-serving establishment. And in almost every way, that establishment
fights any attempt at reform with a level of passion and vigilance that it
simply never applies to fixing chronically failing schools.

But The Cartel doesn't just describe the problem. Balancing local NJ storylines against interviews with national education experts such as Clint Bolick (former president of Alliance for School Choice), Gerard Robinson (president of Black Alliance for Educational Options), and Chester Finn (president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute), The Cartel explores what dedicated parents, committed teachers, clear-eyed officials, and tireless reformers are doing to make our schools better for our kids.

Putting a human face on the harm done by the educational monopolies, The Cartel takes us beyond the statistics, generalizations, and abstractions that typically frame our debates about education—and draws an unequivocal bottom line: If we care about our children's futures, we must insist upon far-reaching and immediate reform. And we must do it now."

Bergen LEADS seminars are normally closed to all but class members, but the Class of 2010 would like to invite interested individuals to attend this FREE screening on December 15 at 8:15 am, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. The screening will be held at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, in Classroom TEC 128. Tickets are free, but you MUST pre-register to attend by leaving your name and contact information with Amanda Missey at 201-489-9454 x119 or

For more information on The Cartel visit their website here.

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