Every day we hear stories about America’s troubled education system. And we’re told that in order to fix what’s broken, we need to narrow our curricula, standardize our classrooms, and find new ways to measure students and teachers. But what if these “fixes” are making our schools worse.

In Beyond Measure, we set out to challenge the assumptions of our current education story.

Rather than ask why our students fail to measure up, this film asks us to reconsider the greater purpose of education. What if our education system valued personal growth over test scores? Put inquiry over mimicry? Encouraged passion over rankings? What if we decided that the higher aim of school was not the transmission of facts or formulas, but the transformation of every student? And what if this paradigm-shift was driven from the ground up? By students, parents, and educators? By all of us?

In Beyond Measure, we find a revolution brewing in public schools across the country. From rural Kentucky to New York City, schools that are breaking away from an outmoded, test-driven education are shaping a new vision for our classrooms. These are schools that see critical thinking, communication, exploration, experimentation, collaboration, and creativity as the key to good education. And they are dramatically improving outcomes for children of all backgrounds. They are schools where practically every student graduates and goes on to finish college.

Beyond Measure offers a positive picture of what’s possible in American education when communities decide they are ready for change. Are you?

Join Our Fearless Challenge Today

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

We need leaders in every community who can engage diverse stakeholders, assess individual school needs, and create space for localized conversation and action about childhood health and learning.

Since 2009, we’ve partnered with more than 8000 schools to show one of our films–Race to Nowhere or Beyond Measure–and to facilitate meaningful conversations about creating healthy learning environments for our children. Recently, one such school rose to the fore: Lexington High School in Massachusetts, where 15% of students have said they’ve considered taking their own life in the last year. As dire as those statistics are, the Lexington community is moving beyond fear to courageously take action. As reported in the New York Times, after screening our films and reading our book as a community, Lexington is addressing the root causes of student stress in their schools, and taking multi-pronged action. Avoiding finger-pointing or Band-Aid fixes, Lexington is working on the kinds of solutions–like fundamentally redefining what it means to be a successful student–that lead to true culture change. They’re addressing their pressure-cooker school culture head-on, by coming together to identify problems, find solutions, and listen to one another.

We’d love to partner with your community, too, bringing our films and book to your town to spark dialogue and action. We’ll provide the film, discussion questions, promotional materials, and the chance to tap into our vast national network of grassroots educational change-makers. In turn, you can use Race to Nowhere to open up an honest and productive conversation about student health and wellness in your community, and our new film Beyond Measure (and our book of the same title!) for inspiration on real-life school transformations that have upended the pressure-cooker school climate.

“Without new visions we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down.”
– Robin Kelley, Author and UCLA Professor

About The Book

From Simon & Schuster, this book is years in the making.
It’s a huge leap in our work to reclaim childhood and education from the Race to Nowhere.
It not only explains the urgent need for action, but it also shows us how to
take those first, important steps.

“America, this is your wake-up call. With both heart and smarts, Vicki Abeles showcases the courageous communities
that are rejecting the childhood rat race and reclaiming health and learning.
Our kids really need us to listen.”

—Maria Shriver



“People need to be energized, they need to be inspired,
and they need to have their imaginations fired up.”


– Sir Ken Robinson



Schedule a Series of
Community Film Screenings


Our films have been embraced far and wide by all those passionate about freeing childhood and our schools from the race to nowhere. They have been screened everywhere from school gyms to religious sanctuaries, from college lecture halls to boardrooms and living rooms. Now, it’s your community’s turn. 


Race to Nowhere 25

After each film, facilitate a community forum, giving everyone a chance to voice and listen to observations, concerns, and ideas.


Use our surveys, action guides and other resources to create community-driven changes at your school and community. We’ve found that communities that come together again and again in brick-and-mortar venues are better equipped to create effective, long-lasting change.


Race to Nowhere highlights the narrow vision for success that has created an epidemic of student anxiety, depression and disengagement.

Beyond Measure showcases passionate leaders who are making schools places of deep learning and well-being for every child, offering a model of all that is possible in education when communities decide to put students first.

Our book Beyond Measure, Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation, offers practical steps for revolutionizing schools and reclaiming well-being. When you host a community read, we offer a discussion and action guide to support you.

High School 9-1-1 is the moving and mind-blowing story of an ambulance service in Darien, CT, run entirely by high school teenagers, demonstrating all that young people are capable of when given service-learning opportunities.

The Gatekeeper: Math in America, currently in production, shines a light on one of the most pressing causes of inequity and anxiety among students—and one with incredible potential to transform both education and U.S. society at large.


There are several options for hosting, including using the screening as a fundraiser. Our team provides everything to ensure a successful event.

Get Inspired


School change starts with you.

Sign up for inspiring tips, helpful updates and interesting resources for shifting education near you.


Upcoming Screenings

If there isn’t a screening near you, organize one of your own and share the film with your community!

Click here to host a screening!


Virtual: Wilton Youth Council

Chasing Childhood


Virtual: Outdoor Play Canada

Chasing Childhood


Virtual: Acres of Play

Chasing Childhood


Virtual: Our Thriving Hive

Chasing Childhood

Thought Leaders

In producing Beyond Measure, we have the interviewed internationally-known leading experts in education, child development, creativity, motivation and academic equity. Here are some of the individuals whose research and extensive experience has inspired and informed our film:

Author of multiple books, including Finding Your Element, Robinson is an internationally recognized thought leader in creativity, education and innovation. His TED talk “How Schools Kill Creativity” is one of the most watched in TED’s history.
Author of the New York Times best-selling books Drive and A Whole New Mind, Pink was named by Thinkers 50 as one of the top 15 best business thinkers in the world. He was a speechwriter for former Vice President Al Gore and an aide to former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
Darling-Hammond is a professor at Stanford University and original founder of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. During 2008, she served as the education advisor for President Obama’s campaign. She is the author of The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future.

Gopnik is an internationally renowned expert in child psychology and development. She has authored several books, including The Scientist in the Crib and is currently a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Zhao is an internationally known scholar and author of over 20 books, including World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students. In 2012 he was named as one of the 10 most influential people in educational technology by Tech and Learn magazine. He is currently an education professor at the University of Oregon.
The author of Mindset, Dweck is one of the world’s leading experts on the development of student mindsets and the psychology of self conception. She is the founder of Mindset Works and a professor at Stanford University in social and developmental psychology.

Meet the Team



Vicki Abeles is a filmmaker, speaker, and passionate advocate in the areas of education, health and children...

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Lynda Weinman is the founder of Lynda.com, the leading online forum for business, software and...

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Sara Truebridge, Ed.D. is an education consultant, researcher, author and speaker specializing in resilience...

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Jeffrey Friedman’s editing credits include a number of award-winning films and television documentaries...

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Emmy Award-winning composer. Marks is known for his work on Food Inc (2008), Amadeus (1984), and...

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Mark Smith is an award-winning cinematographer-film collaborator with roots in entertainment...

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Contact Us

We’re easy to reach and welcome the opportunity to connect with you in real time. Please give us a call!

Reel Link Films
3527 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, Ca 94549
Ph: (925) 310-4242
Vicki Abeles
Distribution and Community Outreach
Press and speaking engagements
Call (925) 310-4242