by Bob Bowdon
Film — Documentary
The Cartel is a documentary film about corruption in public education. The film shows how money thrown at the problem, while often presumed to be what's needed, instead tends to grow district bureaucracies and patronage jobs as opposed to fostering meaningful educational improvements for kids. In short, much of the money never reaches the classroom.
Great teachers are rarely rewarded; bad teachers are rarely fired, and alternatives to the one-size-fits-all monopoly model are treated as threats to existing cash flows, even when offer a lifeline to kids.
"The Cartel" won 12-film festival awards, an 11-city theatrical release, and distribution by Warner Brothers and Netflix.