Vicki Abeles
Vicki Abeles is a filmmaker, speaker, and advocate for children and families. She is the director of the acclaimed documentary, Race to Nowhere, a film that has ignited a movement to reinvent education and reclaim healthy childhood. Abeles launched Break Out, a social action campaign committed to providing resources and tools to support awareness, dialogue and community action connected to the issues raised by the film. Abeles, a former Wall Street attorney, is also to co-author of the End the Race Companion Book for parents, educators and students. She is currently working on her next film and book. She is a mother of three and lives in the SF Bay Area.

Entries by Vicki Abeles

Em defesa dos estudantes sem tempo para dormir

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 12:36 PM

Não é segredo para ninguém que os adolescentes dormem muito. Um colegial ainda entorpecido de sono apertando o botão "soneca" do celular é um ritual matinal em minha casa e em muitas outras em todo o país.

Outra coisa comum e corriqueira: em muitos dos colégios de ensino secundário no...

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Stand Up for Sleep-Deprived Students

(1) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 1:33 PM


It's no secret that teenagers love their sleep. A groggy high-schooler reaching for the snooze button is a morning ritual in my home, and many others across the country.

Here's what else is commonplace: Many middle and high schools across the country...

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It's Not a Race: A Letter to My Daughter Before College

(7) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 5:34 PM


Dear Jamey,

As I watched you accept your high school diploma last weekend, looking self-assured and happy with a lei of orchids around your neck, I thought about how hard you've worked -- to arrive at this moment with such a clear sense...

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Curbing America's Homework Habit, California Parents Press School to Stop the Homework Madness

(2) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 3:15 PM


My son, 15 years old and normally bounding with energy, sits bleary-eyed at our kitchen counter, studying before dinner. After a quick meal, Zak will trudge upstairs to slog through several additional hours of homework, only to get up early the next morning...

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Crossing the Line: How the Academic Rat Race Is Making Our Kids Sick

(20) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 10:23 AM

Last winter, I watched my daughter, a high school senior, survive an anxiety-ridden few weeks leading up to final exams, beset with the flu, little sleep and constant studying. With that done, she switched to incessantly monitoring her grades online, fearing that her hopes of becoming a veterinarian ride on...

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Replace the Race

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 2:46 PM


Since the release of Race to Nowhere, I've traveled across the country, hearing stories from parents, educators and students who struggle with the pressures of our achievement-obsessed education system and culture. However, over the last couple years, I've noticed an inspiring shift. A...

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Who's Cheating Whom?

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Parents are aghast and students are under heavy scrutiny in Middleton, Wisconsin, these days, since Middleton High School administrators last month discovered evidence of chronic and widespread cheating. The school forced 250 seniors to retake a calculus test in the wake of the revelations.

But the calculus...

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Why Christie's School 'Fix' Is Misguided

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 12:40 PM

As if getting Garden State residents into one jam wasn't enough, Gov. Chris Christie is calling for a longer school day to make New Jersey students more "competitive."

I couldn't agree more with the idea, espoused by Christie in his State of the State speech, that students in this century...

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When Homework Does More Harm than Good

(15) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 2:32 PM

At screenings of Race to Nowhere in communities across the country, few issues have stirred audience discussion as much as the debate over students' increasingly heavy homework loads. Such is the subject of two recent articles featured on The The first is from Karl Taro...

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A New Education Story

(5) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 12:49 PM

"To prepare Americans for the jobs of the future and help restore middle-class security, we have to out-educate the world," opens the White House's webpage on education. To assure this 'out-educating,' it goes on to suggest "higher standards and better assessments" as well as "smarter data systems to measure student...

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After Newtown: Taking Time to Connect

(1) Comments | Posted December 26, 2012 | 9:14 AM

In the first hours after the shootings in Connecticut, I know I joined many parents in rushing home to my own kids. I had that visceral, heart-wrenching need to connect with them, to assure myself of their safety, and to just spend time being grateful.

The Newtown shootings happened...

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Once Upon a Time

(2) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 8:09 AM

In "Race to Nowhere," students and families share their experiences navigating the lane changes and intersections in the speedway that today's education system has become.

At last week's screening of "Race to Nowhere" at Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, parents, educators and community members reflected on their own...

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The Blame Game

(7) Comments | Posted October 7, 2012 | 5:35 PM

By Vicki Abeles and Wendy Grolnick, Ph.D.

The release this week of the new education film, Won't Back Down, starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal, adds another voice to the clamoring debate about education in the United States. Sadly, it's another voice of blame -- not one framed by reason,...

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Reconsidering Homework

(6) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 12:42 PM

Homework -- how much, for whom, and to what end -- has long been a focus of discussion and concern among parents, teachers and PTA associations across the country. But since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001 and Obama's more recent Race to the Top incentive program,...

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Assigning Homework With One Voice: Why The National PTA Should Adopt National Homework Guidelines

(11) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 6:00 PM

Homework -- how much, for whom, and to what end -- has long been a focus of discussion and concern among parents, teachers and PTA associations across the country. But particularly since the passage of No Child Left Behind and Obama's more recent Race to the Top incentive program, the...

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