NMPSPE Film Festival, Day XV: In Honor of PARCC Sit-N-Stare

So what do you “do” to kids who aren’t taking the Standardized Test? Kids/parents opting-out of PARCC/SBAC leave schools with yet another logistical wrinkle in a very wrinkly test scheduling prune. In Toms River, New Jersey they sit in “study hall” for hours and hours.  In Libertyville, Illinois, a Special Education student not only sat and stared at a blank computer screen, he sat and stared with “extended time,” for two hours and forty minutes, as “extended time” is one of his testing “accommodations.”

Certainly nothing punitive about that.

In honor of schools choosing to have kids stare at blank computer screens and such, we screen a sliver of Andy Warhol’s infamous eight-hour “Empire” (1964).  In what is probably going to be the lowest IMDB-rated film of the Festival, Warhol and “cinematographer” (air quotes very much needed) Jonas Mekas put a camera on a nice-solid tri-pod (okay, it’s not that solid) and basically invented the webcam, about 20-25 years before the first Internet webcam.   I’m sure the entire eight hours can be found somewhere on the web, but here we’re stuck with only a nine-minute “greatest hits” excerpt.





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