HIGH SCHOOL was filmed at a large urban high school in Philadelphia. The film documents how the school system exists not only to pass on "facts" but also transmits social values from one generation to another. HIGH SCHOOL presents a series of formal and informal encounters between teachers, students, parents, and administrators through which the ideology and values of the school emerge.
HIGH SCHOOL, a wicked, brilliant documentary about life in a lower-middle-class secondary school.
–Richard Schickel, Life
HIGH SCHOOL shows no stretching of minds. It does show the overwhelming dreariness of administrators and teachers who confuse teaching with discipline. The school somehow takes warm, breathing teen-agers and tries to turn them into 40-year old mental eunuchs… No wonder the kids turn off, stare out windows, become surly, try to escape… The most frightening thing about ‘HIGH SCHOOL’ is that it captures the battlefield so clearly; the film is too true.
–Peter Janssen, Newsweek
The high school is the very heart of America, and Wiseman has captured its strength and rhythm perfectly.
–Edgar Z. Friedenberg, The New York Review of Books