Dr. Gerard Plecki (Jeff Daniels) is an English teacher at the rundown Steinmetz High School in Chicago. When Plecki accepts the school's offer to become the Academic Decathlon coach, he must fight the rampant apathy and find diligent students to compete. One of these students, Jolie Fitch (Jena Malone), works with Plecki to recruit intelligent kids -- clearly an elusive bunch. Once the team qualifies for state competition, they face a golden opportunity to cheat their way to success.
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