Before Waiting for Superman and KIPP, there was the Boys of Baraka. This 2005 documentary followed a group of “at-risk” 12-year-old boys from Baltimore whose families enrolled them in an experimental boarding school in Kenya (with expenses paid by the city of Baltimore) in a desperate attempt to get the boys out of failing schools and violent neighborhoods so they could turn their lives around. The DVD is available from Netflix and Amazon .

If, after seeing the movie, you want to know what has become of the four boys featured in the film, you can find out more here, here and here.

In the Fall 2008 issue of Ed Next, David Whitman wrote about paternalistic schools that teach at-risk kids not just how to learn but how to live in “An Appeal to Authority: The New Paternalism in Urban Schools.”

Last updated December 22, 2010