It is the first in the series, uncovering how the refusal to identify dyslexia is behind rising illiteracy, drop out and poverty rates in the United States.
Take a journey through the lives of students and their parents navigating the school system in several states. Discover one of the most obvious covered up causes of the current achievement gap, ADHD, and truancy crisis: our most common yet unidentified and misidentified learning difference.
“Struggling students are largely over-diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and behavioral issues, and consequently up to 8.5 million dyslexic learners remain unacknowledged, struggling alone to process and meet the rigid curriculum,” says Stephen Polk, writer/director of Ill-literacy:DSD and producer/director of the short School Stories : Anxious, Stupid, Fail.
Shifting between first-person narratives of students and their families and educators, advocates and leaders speak up at schools and state capitals—all frustrated by intellectual bullying, educational mismanagement, and oppressive equity.
“We kept hearing the same untold, secret story of dyslexia and related processing issues. Its so hard to get why school systems fail not just students but also ignore the families and teachers who trust and depend on transparency. In three key states with low literacy rates—New York, Minnesota and California—the team identified a familiar pattern: weak legislation, dyslexia disinformation, and claims of a lack of funds to support change,” Polk reveals.
Ill-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia finds a few private schools that shine a light for those kept in the dark. By engaging leaders and encouraging participation, the film provides a way to move forward, introducing activist groups like Identifying Dyslexia and National Dyslexia Literacy Coalition.
Two more films are currently in pre-production: Med-ucation Inc. focuses on widespread misdiagnoses and medication of dyslexic students, while Incarceration Inc. details the school-to-prison pipeline affecting students who struggle with Industrialized instead of personalized education