Dateline NBC: The Education of Ms. Groves
The troubling plight of urban schools is well documented, but rarely are the root causes behind the failures explored. The Education of Ms. Groves provides an enlightening window on this world through the story of an idealistic Teach For America volunteer who was plucked from her upper middle-class background in Lansing, Michigan and her studies at the University of Virginia and transplanted to a tough middle school in Atlanta, Ga. Certain that she will love and inspire her students as she was once inspired by a teacher, Monica Groves soon learns her task will be more difficult than she expected. Disturbing family situations and the hardships of poverty bring problems to her classroom she never experienced or imagined. The extended Dateline NBC segment offers an unobtrusive account of Groves’ development as a teacher, mapping her ups and downs from idealism to anger to understanding. It also gives viewers intimate details of the difficult and complex lives of her students. They range from Mayah, whose fall from the honor roll to fights and failing grades can be attributed to her father’s incarceration, to Stephen, who quietly manages to maintain decent grades while his family of four lives in one small hotel room. Putting human faces to the stories of students and teachers in struggling schools, The Education of Ms. Groves proves triumphant while also serving as a sobering reminder of work yet to be completed. For this it receives a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive producer: David Corvo. Executive editor: Elizabeth Cole. Senior producer: Ellen Mason. Producers: Izhar Harpaz, Shayla Harris. Associate producers: Sarah Gregory, Henning Fog, Deanna DiMuro, Serene Fang. Editors: Frank Bido, Richard Platt. Writer: Izhar Harpaz. Correspondent: Hoda Kotb.