Friday, October 1, 2010
Waiting for "Superman" Film Released
"Guggenheim's documentary Waiting for "Superman" (released earlier in the week) focuses on aspiring students and their parents, mostly minorities, together struggling against the odds to get admitted into urban charter schools. Lacking the money for private schools, or move to the suburbs where the schools are better -- although not always good -- having only neighborhood high schools that are "drop out factories," these Americans have very few options. For many their only option is finding a decent charter school. But the odds for these young students to get selected in the lottery for a charter school is often worse than for students applying to Yale University.
And the film has villains. The clearly marked, cleared attacked villain that stands in the doorway to reforming our failing system of public education. The two major teacher unions! The two major teachers unions that together are the largest contributors to the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party that refuses to support legislation to require teachers to perform better and the Democratic Party that refuses to support legislation for the more innovative, less bureaucratic, effective charter schools.
What "Waiting for Superman" drives home is to improve our education system requires improving our teachers. Requires demanding our teachers get deep in the trenches, be allowed to be flexible and innovative, persist, and to be held accountable. This the teacher unions and the Democratic Party will not accept, even for the sake of our children."
From a movie review by Stewart Nusbaumer.
Obama Responds to the Movie "Waiting for 'Superman'" (7:40) and Whether His Daughters Would Get Good Education at DC Skools [sic] (17:27)
Everyone knows no sitting President would ever think of sending their kids to DC public schools, which are some of the worst in the nation in spite of some of the highest spending per student in the nation. In fact, the teacher's union was just successful in defeating the pro-education reform mayor in the latest primary to keep the status quo.
Personally, I think parents hold the key to kids doing well in school, and the lack of parental interest and supervision is one of the major issues contributing to the poor performance. I am also skeptical that the Federal Government's interventions have helped education, or the Department of Education is worth the price.