GREENVILLE, N.C. -- When Michael Bonner's 2nd-grade class failed an exam last year he knew he had to do something drastic.
“When 80 percent or more of your kids fail a test, it is not the kids,” Bonner said. “It is you and we have to own that.”
So he made a deal with his class. He told his students if they all pass the test he will personally shot them a music video. And it worked!
His school, in a tough Greenville neighborhood, is partially surrounded by barbed wire and 100 percent of the students qualify for a free lunch.
“And that's why I get excited about the video,” Bonner said. “It's a sign of my kids fighting against that.”
When their first video went viral, Ellen DeGeneres invited the entire class to Los Angeles. And they made a professional video with rapper Big Sean.
Now, they're shooting their fourth video for passing yet another test.
“I think it's bigger than the music video,” Bonner said. “I think they understand that we can really do this.”
The story of Bonner and his students was featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt Monday, March 3.