Select Page

As a changing workforce requires more graduates who can think creatively, rather than just do what they are told, a provocative film is changing the way many look at education and has spurred calls for radical innovation.

And now it’s coming to Richmond.

“Most Likely to Succeed,” which tells the story of a San Diego school that has restructured its teaching-learning experience, will be shown twice on Monday, Feb. 15 – at 1 and 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Model Laboratory School on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. The public is invited to the free screenings. (EKU classes are welcome to attend; professional development certificates will be provided to attendees.)

Matthew Henry, dean of innovative education at LeTourneau University, said the 2015 film “started our thinking about the future of education and what it should look like … a must-see for every educator, K-12 through post-secondary.”

The executive producer of the 90-minute film, Ted Dintersmith, spent decades as a successful venture investor building and adapting mental models of the economic world. The mismatch between those economic demands and what he saw in most schools prompted “Most Likely to Succeed.”

"What I find shocking is that schools aren’t preparing our kids for life in the 21st century,” he told Education Week. “Surrounded by innovation, our education system is stuck in the 19th century. The skills and capabilities our kids need going forward are either ignored or outright trampled.”

The film, based on a book of the same name, profiles High Tech High School, where teachers have the freedom to shape projects that culminate in public exhibitions. Over the course of a year, two groups of freshmen take on ambitious, project-based challenges that promote critical thinking skills rather than rote memorization. (Note: In 2006, EKU adopted a Quality Enhancement Plan that called upon the University to “develop informed, critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively,” an objective that has been broadly applied to curricula over the past decade.)

Education Week ranked the film “among the best educational documentaries ever produced … a provocation rather than a prescription.”

The Huffington Post said “Most Likely to Succeed” offers “a message Americans need to hear, and desperately test.”

Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21, said, “Those of us proposing a new model for 21st century schools and districts are lucky to have this great film help us build momentum for our collective efforts.”

For more information and to view a trailer for the film, visit

For more information on the screenings at Model, contact Ellen Rini at