Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 18, 2011.

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The Texas State Board of Education is revising the state's schooling standards and raising some controversial issues about education.

PROJECT SYNOPSIS -

In a small room in Austin, Texas, a group of fifteen people are single-handedly deciding what is taught to the next generation of American children. The highly politicized fifteen-member Texas State Board of Education is currently going through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas affects the whole nation.

Texas is the nation’s largest textbook market. Unlike other states, that allow their districts to pick and choose what books they buy, Texas buys them centrally – making Texas unbelievably influential on the standards that Textbook publishers use as a basis for their textbooks. Over the last 10 years, the textbook from this board found its way in upwards of 65% of American classrooms.

Over the course of the current review, the board has been focusing on infusing the school curriculum with broader conservative and religious themes. In Science, there has been an insistence on questioning the theory of evolution. And during the review of the history standards, the more conservative members have attempted to define the United States as a Christian nation goverened by Christian principles , and emphasize "American Exceptionalism," the notion that America is special and destined to lead the world.

Simply put, our goal is to shed light on this important issue and the key players in this process -- we will explain their goals, explore the scope of their influence, and delve into the personal motivations behind their actions. We’ve been invited into their homes and have held intimate interviews with each of the members of the board and key decision makers and campaigners close to the issue.

In the time we’ve been working on this project, we’ve amassed over 200 hours of footage.

This is where you come in…

We are raising money to ensure that we can hire a really good, professional editor for the project. For years now, our director has been shooting and cutting this film, but we feel that a really good editor will be worth his weight in gold and prepare us properly to take the mass of media we have and turn it into a film worthy of the subject matter and ready to compete in the documentary film festival circuit.

Your donation will give us up to 10 weeks with an editor and also cover some additional post production costs.

Thank you so much for considering this project. We hope you can help us complete this journey and we can all be proud of a terrific film.

***UPDATE***

So, our Kickstarter page is looking a little more slick today! One of our backers very kindly offered his talent as a graphic designer to make us a logo.

We're very grateful to Jim O'Briant for making this. We're going to add a reward too. We're going to put this on a t-shirt and send it out. If anyone would like it, it can be purchased at the new 75 Dollar level. Thank you Jim!

Jim's also pledged to do our DVD covers, so everyone who is getting a DVD will have a personal momento of Jim's work.

Thank you Jim and everyone who has called privately to offer their support. Honestly, we'd love to find a way for everyone to contribute their amazing talents if they'd like to. Please just bare with us as we figure out how best to include you!

***UPDATE***

Thank you everyone for making this project a success! I just put the call in to our editor and he's booked for the job. Thank you! You helped me be able to make that call and I can't thank you enough.

If you can find it in your heart, please keep giving. Any further donations will be used to get the film scored and we could even put some money into marketing it after we're finished.

We have high hopes for this film and we would love to do screenings and send copies to other school districts, PTA groups, and boards of education around the country. Not to mention, the costs we're going to incur when we try to enter it in to any film festivals (our best chance of getting a distribution deal).

Thank you! You're officially the best people in the world!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    24 backers

    Great Karma and the knowledge that you helped us shine a spotlight on a truly pivotal time in the history of US education

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    13 backers

    A Standing Up To The Experts bumper sticker. Everyone loves a little bumper sticker wisdom!

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    123 backers

    A dvd of the film upon completion and all of the above.

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    46 backers

    A dvd signed by the Director, Scott Thurman and all of the above

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    2 backers

    NEW REWARD - A Standing Up To The Experts T-shirt designed by Kickstarter community member Jim O'Briant as well as all of the above awards. Thank you Jim!

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    16 backers

    All of the above, plus an invite to a screening in either Austin, TX / LA, CA / NY, NY. (International backers at this level will receive a "Special Thanks" credit at the end of the film.)

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    0 backers

    We will hold a 2 session class in documentary filmmaking via Skype. Including tips on how to navigate the production process through, identifying subject, development, prep, shoot, edit, and post production and all of the above.

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    1 backer

    A copy of the final Texas Board approved textbook signed by the entire production team of Standing Up To The Experts and all of the above. (book is exclusive to this level)

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    5 backers

    A "Special Thanks" credit in the end titles of the film and all of the above. (All credits will be posted to IMDB)

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    3 backers

    A "Consulting Producer" credit on the film and all of the above. (All credits will be posted to IMDB)

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    A private screening for you and your friends in LA, NY, or AUSTIN and all of the above.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    We will have multiple calls with you during the shoot and post schedule and speak about the production process. Additionally, you’ll be able to input into the film. We will send you a copy of the rough cut and seek your input. For this you’ll earn a credit on the film as “Story Consultant” and all of the above. (Story Consultant title limited to this donation level only)

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    UPDATED - An Executive Producer’s credit and tickets to a film festival plus all of the above. In addition Scott or Orlando will come to your town and preview the film for you ahead of the release and all of the above. (Screening limited to United States. All credits will be posted to IMDB)

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Funding period

- (40 days)