The Harlem-based National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) documentary series, 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School, which shines the spotlight on the nation’s educational crisis, has won a Peabody Award, the Pulitzer Prize of electronic media. Jacquie Jones, the executive director of NBPC, which is based in Harlem, will be presented the award on May 19th at the Peabody Awards ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria.
“We are very pleased to be acknowledged for a series we know has helped inspire much-needed dialogue around the many factors impacting vulnerable students in our public schools, including standardized testing and its effects on our students and educational institutions,” said Jones.
Over the course of a full school year, 180 Days follows a high school at the epicenter of the nation’s school reform movement. The two-part series offers a window into the struggles of five students at Washington Metropolitan High School—AKA DC Met—as they battle life’s challenges to graduate and succeed. The series also shows how the push for success in standardized testing is often at odds with the realities facing young people and the lengths to which the faculty must go to ensure their students are able to have their day in the light, in full cap and gown.
180 Days was produced and directed by Jones and Garland McLaurin and edited by Adam Lingo and Carol Slatkin. Christopher Paultre composed the music. The series, part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that helps communities nationwide understand and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis, aired on PBS in March 2013. The film can be seen at http://video.pbs.org/program/180-days/.
Photo credit: DC Metropolitan High School principal Tanisha Williams Minor.