The National Black Programming Consortium documentary series 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School is the proud winner of a 2013 Peabody Award.
The documentary which aired last year on PBS and was directed by Jacquie Jones, turns the harsh glare of the spotlight on the nation’s educational crisis.
The cameras follow the day-to-day stories of students, parents, teachers, and staff at the Washington Metropolitan High School also known as the DC Met, providing a unique window into a public school and system trying desperately to make a difference in the lives of each student.
Jacquie Jones tells Black Enterprise, “The Peabody was a tremendous validation. We really wanted to give people a first-hand look at what happens in these schools. There is so much rhetoric about test scores and teacher accountability, common core and poverty but if you’re not in the school you don’t really have a sense of how all these things come together in the lives of these kids. So what we wanted to show was an intimate portrayal of what it’s really like to walk a mile in their shoes.”
Led by a dynamic and outspoken young principal, the series is a raw, unprecedented first-hand account of life inside the school reform movement.
Jones talks about working alongside the principal. She tells BE, “We just started hanging out with her there and getting a sense of what the challenges were. She was so open and so dynamic and interested in being a part of this project that showcased these many challenges and it all sort of just came together.”