Most Likely To Succeed

Last week, A Better Chicago hosted a screening of the acclaimed education documentary, Most Likely To Succeed, for an audience of over 300 enthusiastic supporters, educators, parents and students. The event was part of a 50-state tour the film’s executive producer, Ted Dintersmith, is leading to fuel the dialogue on what is needed for youth to succeed in the 21st century. 

Most Likely To Succeed premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015 and takes the viewer on a journey that links the past, present and future of education in the U.S.. The documentary explores new and innovative approaches that could revolutionize current teaching models so all children have a greater chance for success. The film drives home the belief that self-direction, creativity, resourcefulness, and learning how to learn should be at the heart of teaching and learning in America. Click here to request a private online screener or visit to host a screening event of your own. 

Most Likely To Succeed raises critical questions about current education practices such as how much focus schools should place on standardized testing and how best to balance learning content vs. learning skills.  These are important questions with which even the most thoughtful educators wrangle. And even though the San Diego school highlighted in the film, High Tech High, has seen success with its project-focused learning model, the filmmakers acknowledge that there is no “right” school model. What is critical is that school be a place that engages and inspires students and teachers, and produces the outcomes that matter most for students.

Here in Chicago there are several innovative school models that are making a difference. Intrinsic Schools, KIPP Chicago, and Noble Network of Charter Schools are leveraging innovative approaches to dramatically improve the rates of low-income students getting to and through college. Intrinsic Schools blends technology with great teaching to provide a more personalized learning experience; while a key component of the KIPP Chicago and Noble Network of Charter Schools models is to provide valuable social and emotional supports to their high school graduates throughout the college experience.

During the Q&A session following the film screening, Dintersmith challenged the audience to ponder the question: “What would you want future high school graduates to know and be able to do?” We invite you to weigh in on this call-to-action by posting your response to our Facebook page, where you can also view photos from the event. 

Stay connected with us by signing up for our newsletter to learn of future events that elevate the conversation about education and philanthropy in our city, challenge the status quo, and inspire new ideas to solve our toughest problems and questions to deliver the world-class education system we seek for Chicago's youth.

And, while you’re connected, learn more about some of the innovative education solutions making a difference for students right here in Chicago by checking out our portfolio of high-impact organizations.