Viola Davis: Her Film Challenges Status Quo

The star and Won't Back Down director say the film shows education answers, not right-wing agenda.

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Moreover, she added, "We as people need to challenge the status quo. To not go along in life by rote, and if you want to change a system, to understand that even the most so-called ordinary members of us can tap into what's extraordinary about us and change it."

But changing a school in the manner portrayed in Won't Back Down is a long and arduous undertaking that overworked teachers and working-class and low-income parents rarely have the time or energy to accomplish. Furthermore, it's legal in only seven states, a fact never raised in the movie.

And according to education reporter Dana Goldstein in a recent article in the Nation: "It could be years before any school fully completes the parent trigger process; the furthest along is Desert Trails Elementary, a predominantly Latino school in Adelanto, California. School choice activists there have been opposed by teachers unions and have received support from Parent Revolution, a nonprofit funded by Walden Media and the Gates and Wasserman foundations."

While director Barnz's claims that Won't Back Down is simply a vehicle to raise the issue of failing urban schools, it appears that Walden Media continues its anti-union agenda.

Julia Chance is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based journalist and the author of Sisterfriends: Portraits of Sisterly Love. Follow her on Twitter.

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