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“Most Likely to Succeed"

Over Homecoming weekend, the William & Mary School of Education and Dean Spencer Niles hosted former venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith ’74 for a discussion and screening of the new documentary “Most Likely to Succeed,” for which Dintersmith served as executive producer.

“Most Likely to Succeed” tells the story of how K-12 education in the U.S. still operates in a 19th century mentality—the last time the American system was overhauled. The film also explores possible solutions to better prepare K-12 students to succeed in a 21st century economy through the example of High Tech High School in San Diego.

The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and has gotten national recognition from the media and public alike.

After the film screening was met with high praise from the audience, Dean Niles facilitated a conversation with Dintersmith. They discussed the solutions presented in the film, the policy outcomes of these solutions, and the success of the film more broadly. Members of the audience were able to ask questions as well. Many in attendance wanted to know how solutions presented in the film could translate to their own school districts.

“You can teach kids what is important to test and what is important to learn,” Dintersmith said, “and they are not the same thing.”

The White House screened Dintersmith’s film on November 9 during the White House Next Gen High School Summit, a national conversation on transforming high schools to better serve all students. More information on this screening can be found here.

A full video of the symposium is available online.