Movie: The Cartel

4/1/2010 Update:

The Cartel: One night only showing in Hoboken

Interested in seeing Bob Bowdon’s award-winning documentary about the horrible condition NJ’s educational system is in?

On April 21, 2010The Cartel will be shown at Clearview Cinemas (7:00pm and 9:00pm).

The Cartel Playing at Clearview Cinemas Hoboken NJ Bob Bowdon April 21 2010 - Movie: The Cartel


11/11/2009 Update:

The Cartel is well received across the country

Accolades and more press for Bow Bowdon’s documentary: The Cartel!

In addition to winning the “Silver Screen Award” (Documentary Film Category) at the 2009 Nevada Film Festival last month – The Cartel made the homepage of Education Next, a nationally respected education reform magazine, edited by Paul Peterson of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Lastly, the film was also written up in yesterday’s NY Daily News. Congrats, Bob! Get the word out there!

bob bowdon the cartel press daily news ny hoboken nj - Movie: The Cartel

Once again, here’s a sample from the film:

10/19/2009 Update:

A quick congratulations to Bob Bowdon, and his movie The Cartel – as it won the “Best Full-Length Documentary” award at the Downbeach Film Festival in Atlantic City yesterday.

Way to go, Bob!!


Hoboken’s Bob Bowdon, known for his work at the Onion News Network and Bloomberg News (and of course as moderator of the recent Candidate Forums) – is proud to announce the release of his new documentary called The Cartel.

You can see the premiere of his film at the Hoboken International Film Festival (which is being held primarily in lovely Teaneck, NJ this year) on Saturday, May 30th at 2pm. Cost is $9.

What is wrong with NJ Schools?

“For at least a generation, American public schools have been growing progressively worse. According to the U.S. Department of Education national testing, only 35% of American high school seniors are proficient in reading. And fewer than one-in-four, 23%, are proficient in math. On the global stage, America ranks last in educational effectiveness among large industrialized countries despite the highest spending per student in the world.

It presents something of a conundrum. How has the richest and most innovative society on earth suddenly lost the ability to teach its children at a level that other modern countries consider “basic”?

If the problem is that we’re not spending enough on schools, which many people believe, it’s instructive to study the U.S. state that spends more than any other per student: New Jersey

With spending as high as $483,000 per classroom (confirmed by NJ Education Department records), New Jersey students fare only slightly better than the national average in reading and math, and rank 37th in average SAT scores. And not even half of NJ’s high school freshmen, despite the state’s enormous “investment,” are academically ready for college four years later.

Is anyone watching where the money goes? How much actually reaches the classroom? And if certain changes in the system would benefit children, but not necessarily the staff, would the adults running the system endorse those changes?

“The Cartel” investigates what is causing this vast underachievement and what can be done to turn things around.”

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Thursday, April 1, 2010 8:44 pm

I thought it was that Colombia movie with Vinnie Chase.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:47 pm

It is so easy to demonize our teachers. When you look at a complicated system such as education the answer to your problems is usually much more than just one word. I’m not familiar with the the education educators receive in NJ but I will speak of the preparation a teacher in NY state receives. Most teachers attend college as undergraduates majoring in education and then concentrating in their specialization such as math, literacy, etc. After our 4 years we are dropped into a desperate and extremely competitive job market with a starting salary of about $40,000 a year. At this point you need to start paying your student loans which eats further into your base salary. Now NY state also requires that you get a Masters degree on top of your undergraduate work. A Teacher can spend between $15-$30K to get this diploma within 5 years of undergrad graduation. Untenured teachers are also expected to participate in more afterschool activities and tutoring programs, usually without compensation. This makes the first 5 years of life out of college extremely tight. Most people decide within this five years that teaching is not for them and rightfully so. Teachers spend so much out of pocket money to provide your children with the supplies you need. To make sure that the classroom is as decorated and welcoming to your children as possible. Where I work I receive a check, for the year, to cover these expenses up to $150. That never covers the… Read more »

Friday, November 13, 2009 8:27 am

It is sad to see the steady decline of the quality of U.S. high school education. An article in the Wall Street Journal some time ago reproduced a high school entrance examination given to prospective Jersey City high school students in 1885 (the link to the test is Even after leaving out the geography questions which relate to places that no longer exist or whose names have changed, I doubt that most eighth graders, or graduating seniors for that matter, could pass this test.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 6:52 pm

Addendum: please put an s after seem and in brief the new gov. wants more school choice.

Reply to  truth1
Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:49 pm

Do you believe the educational needs of our children are the same of those of children of the 19th century?

In response to truth1 who said:

Addendum: please put an s after seem and in brief the new gov. wants more school choice.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 6:51 pm

Our Gov. elect Christie has already expressed a priority in changing our current vision for public schools. He seem to want to seriously explore a master blend of more charter schools for public education with a voucher option as well.

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