What We Are Reading Today: Learning in the Fast Lane

Updated 11 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Learning in the Fast Lane

  • More than 22,000 schools now participate in it, across nearly forty subjects, from Latin and art to calculus and computer science

AUTHORS: Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Andrew E. Scanlan

The Advanced Placement program stands as the foremost source of college-level academics for millions of high school students in the US and beyond. More than 22,000 schools now participate in it, across nearly forty subjects, from Latin and art to calculus and computer science. Yet remarkably little has been known about how this nongovernmental program became one of the greatest success stories in K–12 education — until now.

In Learning in the Fast Lane, Chester Finn and Andrew Scanlan, two of the country’s most respected education analysts, offer a groundbreaking account of one of the most important educational initiatives of our time, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. Learning in the Fast Lane traces the story of AP from its mid-20th century origins as a niche benefit for privileged students to its emergence as a springboard to college for high schoolers nationwide, including hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged youth. 

Today, AP not only opens new intellectual horizons for smart teenagers, but also strengthens school ratings, attracts topflight teachers, and draws support from philanthropists, reformers, and policymakers.


Holocaust-based film ‘to screen at Red Sea Film Fest’

Updated 19 February 2020

Holocaust-based film ‘to screen at Red Sea Film Fest’

  • The Jonathan Jakubowicz-directed World War II film will mark the first time a film that explores the Holocaust will screen in the Kingdom
  • ‘Resistance’ tells the story of mime artist Marcel Marceau, who joins the French Resistance at the beginning of World War II in order to help save the lives of 10,000 Jewish orphans

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival unveiled its inaugural movie lineup this week, with a few surprises on the list, including Holocaust-based film, “Resistance.”

The Jonathan Jakubowicz-directed World War II film, starring Jesse Eisenberg as Marcel Marceau, who was a member of the French Resistance, will mark the first time a film that explores the Holocaust will screen in the Kingdom.

The significance was not lost on film aficionados, who took to social media to congratulate the Venezuelan director.

“Congratulations @JoJakubowicz I am very proud of all your achievements,” one user wrote. “A geopolitical achievement. Good job, Jonathan!” another user tweeted. 

“I think it’s a promising move toward artistic freedom,” Makkah-based Saudi filmmaker Talal Wassmy told Arab News when asked what the implications of the screening would be.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Yahya, a Saudi film critic for movie-focused website filmphoria.com, added that “it is a great cultural shift toward a less prejudiced mindset. I am glad we are no longer beholden to one narrative when it comes to history.”

The biographical drama tells the story of a young French actor, Marcel Marceau, who joins the French Resistance at the beginning of World War II in order to help save the lives of 10,000 Jewish orphans from Nazi forces in France.

Marceau, who was also famous for being a mime artist that delighted audiences for decades as “Bip,” used his miming skills to keep the orphaned children comfortable and quiet during the risky smuggled escapes to Switzerland.

“The kids loved Marcel and felt safe with him,” the late actor’s cousin and commander of the French Resistance, Georges Loinger, told the Jewish Telegraph Agency in 2007, after Marceau’s death.

“The kids had to appear like they were simply going on vacation to a home near the Swiss border and Marcel really put them at ease.”

The full cast of the film includes Edgar Ramírez, Clémence Poésy, Bella Ramsey, Matthias Schweighöfer, Géza Röhrig, Karl Markovics, Félix Moati, Alicia von Rittberg and Vica Kerekes. 

The film will be screened in Saudi Arabia before it is released in the US on March 27.