"Highly recommended for virtually all libraries... invaluable for in-service training of teaching professionals,
as well as required viewing for student teachers." EDUCATIONAL MEDIA REVIEWS ONLINE, Rue Herbert University of South Florida, Tampa
(Read entire review)
"Excellent for research purposes and a fantastic tool to use with undergraduates to introduce
the intersections of disability, race, ethnicity, gender and power. Compelling and intellectually rigorous." Dr. Lesley Bogad, Educational Studies, Rhode Island College
"Poignant...invaluable resource for parents, educators and policy makers." BOOKLIST, Nancy McCray
"A wonderful film...sends a powerful and positive message." LIBRARY JOURNAL, Lori Lampert ,
SUNY at BrockportRead more...
Going To School (Ir a la Escuela) provides a captivating look at the daily experiences of students receiving special education services, and examines gains made by the Los Angeles Unified School District toward compliance with civil rights laws that guarantee a quality education for all children. The documentary focuses on the lives of three seventh graders and a second grader, and reveals the determination of their parents to see that these children receive an equal education.
Selected by National Video Resources
for the 2004 Human Rights Video Project
"Compelling and uplifting... excellent resource for school counselors, administrators,
and teachers, as well as for students of all grade levels when discussing
discrimination, differences, or ethics." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, Mercedes Smith,
Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville, Florida (read review)
"Inspirational...a film that recognizes the journey many of us go through." Ann O'Neil , parent, California
"Going To School always prompts incredible interest and discussion. It is a wonderful film that brings such issues as inclusion, disabilities, families, collaboration, and the law to life. This film is truly a staple in many courses in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Instructors for our course Education of Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students with Exceptional Needs very often show this film. Students in
various programs including administration, elementary and
secondary instruction, counseling, school psychology
and special education must take this course." Terese Jimenez, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor, School of Education, Loyola Marymount University
"The Latino emphasis on family involvement is also at
of this excellent film..." Jennifer Perry, PROYECTO VISION
"The genuine and moving portrayal of these families’ experiences powerfully illustrates
that rehabilitation psychologists and social workers will face
in working with those with SCI." Bret A. Boyer, PhD , coordinator, Widner University's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SPINAL CORD INJURY PSYCHOLOGISTS & SOCIAL WORKERS
"These young students and their parents are illuminating examples of the power of persistence, determination
and hard work --role models for all of us. I have been working in the field of special education
since the 1980s and this is one of the best films I've seen!" Betty Carlson, Ph.D, University of Arizona
"Incredibly inspiring film...a must see for all future educators!" Kimberlye P. Joyce, M.Ed., Director, Curriculum Materials Center Department of Education,
University of Richmond
In one scene, Sandra Renteria recalls attending school everyday for three years
with her son before the school informed her that he was entitled to
an aid and sign language interpreter. The boy has become the first student
to be included in regular classes in his middle school.
Sandra, as shown in the film, now works as a parent advocate.
"'GOING TO SCHOOL' is not only about children going to school; it is a tale of empowering
parents to go to school on behalf of their children. Sociology students at all levels can benefit from this story.
... it becomes clear that the problem of ensuring appropriate educational opportunities to children with special needs is a family issue, a potential social problem and issuefor a rather significant social institution. Hence, this film provides interesting opportunities to expand discussion in social problems classes, marriage and family classes, introductory sociology classes, sociology of law and medical sociology classes. This film may even have applications in race and ethnicity classes.
The film clarifies the "least restrictive" concept, and the reality of "least restrictive" as practiced in schools. Further, and perhaps as important as any concept covered in the film, discrimination against a social class becomes visible...." TEACHING SOCIOLOGY, Read entire review...
Sharon Larson, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Ana's mother, working seven days a week to support her children, needed to travel to school to untangle the paperwork that placed her daughter who uses a wheelchair into segregated special education classes. The determination of both the mother and daughter pay off as evidenced in scenes of Ana in classes and with her friends. Ana's fierce independence yields to tenderness as she describes how her life changed when a grenade was hurled
into her yard in El Salvador, "making a hole in my spine."
"Going To School ~ Ir a la Escuela is unique because it illustrates the perspectives of the disabled students. It beautifully shows how the students value their disabled peers, both as friends and mentors as they plan for their futures as integrated members of society.
Parents,disabled children, educators and policy makers should see this film."
Judith E. Heumann, Special Advisor on International Disability Rights, U.S. Department of State,
and Jorge Pineda, Accountant, National Council on Independent Living
"Excellent. Thought provoking, practical, realistic and it
illustrates the necessary advocacy required by parents to address
the special needs of their child with a school system." Gil Carmona, Assistant Dean, School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Orange County
"Heart-wrenching...Bravo" DAILY VARIETY, Army Archerd
"Incredible video! I recommend it for everyone with an I.E.P." Beth Randall, parent, Illinois
"A powerful film...It will force the viewer to re-evaluate their own position
on a variety of things, from the nature of our educational
and social systems to our own
beliefs and commitment to diversity
and inclusion. Go to school, see 'Ir a la Escuela', the children have
much to teach us and we have much to learn." JOURNAL OF POVERTY, Alfred Joseph,
Dept. of Family Studies and Social Work,
Miami University, Ohio
"I co-taught, with a professor, a class on disability culture. I used this film and it was awesome. One of the best films I've seen on the issue of schools and accessibility." Naomi Ortiz,
Kids As Self Advocates, Arizona
and National Disabled Students Union
"I think every school administrator should see it as well as teachers, parents, and also students, since they are the peers of the kids who are
joining the mainstream and need to have as much of their interaction
as possible be positive and supportive... Very informative coverage
of major issues such as civil rights and equal access,mainstreaming,
knowledge and openness (or lack of it) of school staff,
emotional/social/cultural factors, and communication problems.
Excellent handling of bilingual aspects." Ruth E. Andersen, Ph.D., Program Specialist
Children with Special Health Care Needs Program, Texas Dept. of Health
First International Moscow
Disability Film Festival: "Breaking Down Barriers":
Vermont International Film Festival
East Lansing Film Festival
Woodstock Museum Film Festival
Dallas Video Festival
Going To School (Ir a la Escuela) was commissioned by the
Class Member Review Committee of the Chanda Smith Consent Decree in Los Angeles as mandated by US District Court. Credits: Produced, directed, edited by Richard Cohen ; cinematography by Baird Bryant; camera assistant Mario Ruiz ; translation by Sonia Thaler ; sound, written & narrated by Richard Cohen ; narrated in Spanish by Carmen Mann-Rivera ; additional editing by Barry Goch ; audio mix by Michael Herald ; editing consultant Sharon Franklin .
Consulting members of the CMRC: Barbara Marbach, Chair; Emma Guanlao, Lucy Matsumoto, Helen Wu . C.PAI, 2001