Drama starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis as a pair of mothers on a campaign to improve the inner-city Pittsburgh school their children attend. Jamie (Gyllenhaal) is a working class single mother so determined to provide a future for her daughter that she holds down two jobs. When she finds that the school is failing her daughter, she is naturally dismayed and sets out to try and rectify the situation. Though she encounters stern opposition from the school and the teacher's union - embodied by Principal Holland (Bill Nunn) and the president of the union Evelyn Riske (Holly Hunter) - Jamie is determined to persevere. When Nona Alberts (Davis) a respected teacher at the school, joins her cause, they make for a formidable duo and set about rallying the pupils, teachers and the local community to aid in the revitalisation of local education.