Ron Clark is a real teacher! The movie is based off of his life and times as a teacher in Harlem, NY. Clark is nationally recognized, and in 1999 he was recognized as Disney’s Teacher of the Year. He has written several books, and started his own school in Atlanta called, Ron Clark Academy.
The Ron Clark Story follows the inspiring tale of an energetic, creative and idealistic young teacher who leaves his small North Carolina hometown to teach in a New York City public school. Through his passionate use of special rules for his classroom, highly innovative teaching techniques and an undying devotion to his students and helping them cope with their problems, Clark is able to make a remarkable difference in the lives of his students. For one young girl trying to attend school while helping to raise her siblings, he offers a chance for her to overcome her situation and become the top student of the class. For a young man with a penchant for graffiti, he offers an ideal outlet for artistic expression. Even when he is almost overcome by pneumonia, Clark continues to work with his students, hoping that he can raise their test scores to an acceptable level, or possibly even higher.
However, when Clark returns, he finds out his class did not deliver the goods but he remains optimistic about their chances. The kids sit in the state exams and a few days later, Clark takes the kids to see The Phantom of the Opera. In the end, Principal Turner reveals that Mr. Clark’s class got the highest average (they got a higher score than the honor class) in the state and Clark was regarded by his students as their best teacher.