School Inc. is a global exploration of discovery by the late Andrew Coulson, senior fellow of education policy at Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He takes viewers on a worldwide personal quest for an answer to the question—if you build a better way to teach a subject, why doesn’t the world beat a path to your door, like they do in other industries? The three-part documentary exposes audiences to unfamiliar and often startling realities: the sad fate of Jaime Escalante after the release of the feature film Stand and Deliver; Korean teachers who earn millions of dollars every year; private schools in India that produce excellent results but charge only $5 a month; current U.S. efforts to provide choices and replicate educational excellence; and schools in Chile and Sweden—in which top K-12 teachers and schools have already begun to “scale-up,” reaching large and ever-growing numbers of students.
Like the Cosmos and Connections series that inspired it, School Inc. takes viewers on a personal journey, led by an expert so passionate about his field that he made arrangements before his imminent death to ensure the documentary would be completed. Coulson offers his analysis with a sense of circumspection about the limits of science, as well as a sense of humor. From its surprising twists to its beautiful visuals, the series doesn’t just edify, but entertains.