The Learning

PBS Premiere: Sept. 20, 2011Check the broadcast schedule »

Links & Books


Cine Diaz
The filmmaker's official website with news about her next project, Don't Stop Believin', which profiles the new lead singer of the rock band Journey. Filippino Arnel Pineda was discovered on YouTube.

Sundance Institute: The Learning Curve
Filmmaker Ramona Diaz participated in the 2010 Sundance Institute Documentary Lab. In this audio slideshow, Ramona talks about why she wanted to make the film, her editing process and the challenges of structuring a narrative from mostly vérité footage.

Ramona Diaz on Twitter: @cinediaz
Follow filmmaker Ramona Diaz on Twitter to hear about her new projects and get updates about the teachers

American Federation of Teachers: "Importing Educators: Causes and Consequences of International Teacher Recruitment"
This teacher's union report includes a case study of Baltimore. Also of interest is the union's position on dealing with hard-to-staff schools.

Association of Filipino Teachers of America
The website for this support group describes a project designed to help teachers from the Philippines who are teaching in the United States aid their peers teaching back in the Philippines.

Louisiana Federation of Teachers
Like Baltimore, Louisiana has recruited a significant number of Filipino teachers. This report examines legal controversies surrounding the hiring process.

The New York Times: "Toiling Far From Home for Philippine Dreams"
An article on communities in the Philippines built by remittances.

Associated Press: "Baltimore Hiring of Filipino Teachers Questioned" April 6, 2011.
A brief article about the hiring practices of a Baltimore school district, which was court ordered to repay a large number of foreign teachers in their district.

Filipino Reporter: "Baltimore School District Travels to Philippines to Hire Teachers" January 20, 2005.
An article about a Baltimore school district which turns to Manila to recruit teachers for vacancies in early childhood education.

The Baltimore Sun: "City Used Hiring Practices Criticized in Prince George's County, Filipino Teachers Say" April 5, 2011.
Liz Bowie and Erica L. Green report that the hiring practices of Filipino teachers in Baltimore are found to be similar to those in Prince George's County, which was forced to repay thousands of teachers.

The New York Times: "A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves" April 22, 2007.
Jason DeParle tells the story of one Filipino pool-maintenance laborer forced to work thousands of miles away in Saudi Arabia to support his family of six back home in Manila.

The Baltimore Sun: "Filipino Teachers Learn Life Lessons in Baltimore" August 28, 2005.
Sara Neufeld's article details the migration of Filipino teachers who came to America to teach in some of Baltimore's toughest schools while leaving their families back in their homeland. It inspired filmmaker Ramona Diaz to make The Learning.

Philippine Daily Inquirer: "OFW Remittances Hit $18.76B, an All-time High" February 15, 2011
Michelle Remo reports on the all-time high for remittances paid back to the Philippines in 2010, citing that financial troubles abroad opened up positions for overseas Filipino workers.


The Philippines

Al Jazeera: "Students brave obstacles in Philippines"
This special report details what many Filipino children go through to receive education in overcrowded schools that lack basic facilities.

Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines
Washington, D.C.-based Katarungan was formed in 2006 in response to an international campaign to stop extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the Philippines. It strives to promote peace, justice and human rights in the Philippines through research, education and grassroots advocacy.

Library of Congress: "Philippines: Education"
This study summarizes education in the Philippines from a U.S. perspective.

Republic of the Philippines: Department of Education
The official website of this department provides statistics and a sense of major educational issues in the Philippines from the government's perspective.

CIA: "The World Factbook: Philippines"
Featuring basic demographic information about the Philippines, the CIA World Factbook is a good place to start for someone wishing to learn more about the country.

Baltimore City

Baltimore City Public Schools
The website of the Baltimore public school system provides general information about policies, schools, teacher evaluation and student performance in the area.

U.S. Census Bureau: "State and County QuickFacts: Baltimore City, Maryland"
This chart supplies information comparing the demographics of Baltimore City to the greater state of Maryland based on the 2010 Census.

The Baltimore Sun: "Fewer Black Males Are Dropping Out of School in Baltimore" October 20, 2010.
Liz Bowie

2010 Maryland Report Card: "Baltimore City"
This report card gives up to date statistics on Maryland's school performance related to national performance.

Open Society Foundation: "Out-of-School Suspension, Maryland and Baltimore City 2009-2010"
This fact sheet outlines basic statistics relating to Maryland's at-risk youth, with attention to school discipline.


National Education Association
The Tools and Ideas section of the website of the largest teacher's union in the United States suggests methods for teachers to handle things such as classroom management and discipline.

Center for American Progress "Teacher Turnover, Tenure Policies and the Distribution of Teacher Quality: Can High-Poverty Schools Catch a Break?"
This report focuses on strategies for improving teacher quality, including an in-depth examination of teacher turnover and tenure policy.

Learning on the Job: When Business Takes on Public Schools. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.
Steven F. Wilson asks if businesses in fact run public schools better than school districts. With remarkable honesty and fairness on an ideologically charged topic, Wilson describes the follies and wisdom, overreaching and real accomplishment, of the first education entrepreneurs

Ms. Moffett's First Year: Becoming a Teacher in America. New York: Public Affairs, 2004.
This story is a biographical account of Donna Moffett's first year as a first-grade teacher in an underperforming Brooklyn school. Moffett makes the professional transition from secretary to teacher though New York City Teaching Fellows program, designed in the spring of 2000 to recruit professionals from other careers to work in the city's most troubled schools.

Black Social Capital: The Politics of School Reform in Baltimore, 1986-1998. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1999
Deindustrialization, white flight and inner city poverty have spelled trouble for Baltimore schools. Marion Orr examines why school reform has been difficult to achieve there, revealing the struggles of civic leaders and the limitations placed on Baltimore's African-American community as each has tried to rescue a failing school system.