From the director of Race to Nowhere, the popular 2010 documentary on our education system that has become a long-running grassroots phenomenon, and a new film, Beyond Measure, comes a groundbreaking book for parents, students, and educators on how to revolutionize learning, prioritize children’s health, and re-envision success for a lifetime.
From kindergarteners to high-schoolers, millions of American students are being pressured to perform in ways that make them less intellectually flexible, creative, and responsive to today’s world. In Race to Nowhere, Vicki Abeles identified a widespread problem in our nation’s schools: as students race against each other to have constantly higher grades, better test scores, and more AP courses than their classmates, they are irreparably damaging their mental and physical health.
Now Abeles taps into this same grassroots community across the nation to find the solutions in Beyond Measure, which publishes simultaneously with the release of her new documentary. Pulling from powerful anecdotes and convincing new research, Abeles presents inspirational, quantifiable success stories and shows how anyone—students, parents, and educators—can effect change. Teachers who cut students’ workload see scores rise; kids discover their own motivation once parents relieve the pressure to perform; schools that institute later start times have well-rested students who are able to learn more efficiently; and schools that emphasize depth over test prep find students more attentive, inventive, and ready to thrive.
It’s no secret that our education system is broken, and Beyond Measure inspires parents, educators, and students to take practical steps to fix it—starting today. In so doing, it empowers all of us to redefine learning and success, and to discover the true, untapped potential awaiting our children, not just in college, but in life.
About the Author
Vicki Abeles is a filmmaker, an ex-Wall Street lawyer, and a mother of three. Her documentary Race to Nowhere hit a nerve with its vivid portrayal of today’s broken education system. Her second film, Beyond Measure, about the groundbreaking leaders transforming schools for the better, premieres in 2015. She lives in the San Francisco area with her family.
PRAISE FOR BEYOND MEASURE:
"America, this is your wake-up call. With both heart and smarts, Vicki Abeles showcases the courageous communities that are rejecting the childhood rat race and reclaiming health and learning. Our kids really need us to listen." — Maria Shriver
“Every parent, student, teacher, administrator, politician, and community member needs to read Beyond Measure. Vicki Abeles has written what is at once a thoroughly researched and eloquent indictment of our outdated, stifling, achieve-at-all-costs educational system, and a call to arms for change. With stories from a burgeoning movement, Abeles offers a hopeful vision for the future, with play, rest, passion, and the quest for meaning at the heart of the endeavor, and sets off flares to light the way there.” — Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestseller Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time
“A crucial and credible account of the toxic stress that threatens the health of our youth. The scores, résumés, and admission letters that our educational culture worships have little to do with most parents’ wish list for kids: happiness, resilience, curiosity, kindness, and making a meaningful contribution to society. Research on the growing brain makes clear that we need a new approach. In this important book you will find all the science and stories, statistics and steps you need to make real change.” — Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., , author ofThe Developing Mind, Brainstorm, and Mindsight
“Our kids are arriving at college sick, stressed, and ill-equipped for success. Beyond Measure provides a promising roadmap for parents and educators who understand that happiness and wellbeing are not optional if we want our kids to thrive.”
— Christine Carter, PhD, Senior Fellow, UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and author of The Sweet Spot
“Our one-size-fits-all school system is running our children’s wells of creativity and inspiration dry. This revealing and powerful book compels us to revive the kind of learning that really matters, to unleash the possibility within each child.” — Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Imagination Institute, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania
"This impressive book identifies and offers realistic solutions to misguided views about success in our youth. An invaluable resource for lessening stress and helping our children to be more resilient." — Robert Brooks, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, co-author of Raising Resilient Children