'The Learning' offers a powerful look inside Baltimore city schools

The Baltimore Sun

For the last two weeks, I have done everything I could to get people to watch "The Learning," an illuminating documentary about the lives of four Filipina teachers who are recruited to teach in Baltimore City Schools.

I have blogged, and here's a link to that. I have gone on WYPR radio to talk about it, and here's a link to that.

I am upset that Maryland Public Television is airing at 10:30 tonight (Sept. 25) on its digital channel 22.2 only. It debuted Tuesday night on public televisions  stations nationwide. For a documentary of this quality offering this kind of look inside Baltimore city schools, you think MPT could have given it a better showcase. (The station says it might offer a second airing on its main channel if there is enough interest. I hope it does.)

I am tired of complaining about public TV outlets burying socially-conscious documentaries while they find plenty of time for Brit reruns and do-wop fund-raisers.

"The Learning" features scenes showing Baltimore classrooms totally out of control with students in real physical danger. That would seem a good enough reason to show this film by Filipina native and Baltimore resident Ramon Diaz.

But in sensitively and eloquently chronicling the journey of the four Filipina teachers to Baltimore, Diaz tells a larger story about strength, survival, courage and people under siege themselves still finding the goodness and strength to care about and try to educate others.

Watch it, and let me know what you think.

And if you can't watch it, call or email MPT and let the folks there know you would like to see "The Learning" on their main channel.

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