The School Project

The School Project
Country of originUSA
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Executive producersBob Hercules
Gordon Quinn
ProducersRachel Dickson
Danny Alpert
Jon Siskel
Running time10 minutes
External links

The School Project is an independent cross-platform media project. It explores what a healthy public education system looks like through the lens of Chicago Public Schools. It focuses on issues including standardized testing, charter schools, privatization, and school closings. It is a collaboration between Kartemquin Films, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, Free Spirit Media, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, and several freelancers. Its media partners include Catalyst Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, and WTTW/Channel 11.[1][2]

The School Project episodes were each released as a free public screening in locations ranging from the Chicago History Museum to the University of Chicago.[3] Each screening was followed by a panel discussion and was broadcast on Chicago news station WTTW.[4] The School Project continues to collect stories.

The School Project is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Woods Fund of Chicago, the Driehaus Foundation, and Chicago Filmmakers.[5][6]


The project began as a result of the 2013 closing of 49 neighborhood schools in Chicago — the largest school closings in American history.[7] In response to this decision, filmmakers Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films and Bob Hercules of Media Process Group combined their talents, with the additional partners of Siskel/Jacos Productions, Free Spirit Media, and Kindling Group, to create a short documentary series and Transmedia project investigating the state of education in Chicago.[8] The collaboration came about out of a desire to merge all of the groups' differing experiences with the subject matter and interested networks.[9]


No.Release DateTitle
110/28/14Chicago Schools: The Worst in the Nation?
201/22/15Chicago's School Closings
303/05/15The Impact of School Discipline Policies
403/31/15Testing Season
504/25/15UnChartered Territory with WTTW


  1. ^ "The School Project: UnChartered Territory". Chicago Tonight | WTTW. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  2. ^ "The School Project * Aftermath of Chicago's 2013 School Closings — Auburn Gresham Portal". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  3. ^ "Regrading "The Worst in the Nation" | South Side Weekly". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  4. ^ "SCREEN | Chicago Filmmakers Unveil THE SCHOOL PROJECT Tomorrow | February 2016 Stories". Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  5. ^ "The Schools Project — MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  6. ^ "Chicago prodcos team up for digital doc series". StreamDaily. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  7. ^ "WATCH: The School Project's 'Chicago Public Schools: Closed' premiere". Chicago. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  8. ^ Wicklund, Joel. "Chicago Documentary Giants Unite For The School Project". Chicagoist. Archived from the original on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  9. ^ "Five Chicago Doc Production Companies Launch The School Project | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2016-02-05.

External links