Snoqualmie Valley Record


Learning matters: Education critique from Mount Si High students gets attention from C-SPAN | Photo gallery

Snoqualmie Valley Record Editor
April 5, 2013 · 3:28 PM

Film-makers Dean Sydnor and Emmitt Rudd receiving plaques for their work in the C-SPAN video competition. / Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

School is just a game, say students in a short film from Mount Si High School, and a simple one. It’s just about memorizing a few facts long enough to take a test, they say, and they’ll never use that information again.

“The problem is students don’t learn to learn,” says Emmit Rudd, who created the film with Dean Sydnor.

Rudd’s denunciation of modern education is echoed by students, teachers and administrators at Mount Si in “Education in America: The Reprehensible System.” It is also, as Rudd’s and Sydnor’s entry in the 2013 StudentCam video competition by C-SPAN, the most important issue they think President Obama will face in 2013.

“In the long run, nothing else matters,” says Sydnor, in the movie.

The film was awarded an honorable mention in the competition, plus a visit to Mount Si by the C-SPAN resource bus and network representative Jessica Lindquist.

“We thought this (film) your fellow classmates did was incredible,” Lindquist told Joe Dockery’s video production class March 19. More than 1,800 films were entered in the annual competition, and 75 winners were selected to share in $50,000 in prizes.

The parents of both boys, as well as school officials and Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson were in the classroom as well to congratulate the two and share their thoughts on the film, shown after the presentation.

The first, from Rudd’s father, Rob, was surprise at the title. “I thought, ‘whoa, the principal agreed to be in this?’” he said, laughing.

He was not at all surprised by their choice or treatment of a complex subject, though, saying “I thought they did an excellent job in their message.”

Sydnor’s father, Tom, agrees, saying the two are often watching coverage of education issues on the news. “They have really well-formulated opinions,” he said. “They study this stuff.”

To view the Mount Si students’ film, visit http://studentcam.viddler.com/videos/watch.php?id=1aae5c76.

One of the contest requirements was the inclusion of a relevant clip of C-SPAN footage, one of the resources highlighted in the C-SPAN bus parked outside the high school. Students were able to visit the bus during the morning.

Above, network representative Jessica Lindquist, and below, officials congratulate the film-makers, from left, Superintendent Joel Aune, Rudd, Sydnor, school board member Carolyn Simpson and Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson.


Mayor Matt Larson

Students' parents watch the presentation.

Carolyn Simpson

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