Waiting for Superman (to Fix America’s Broken School System)

Davis Guggen­heim, the Acad­e­my Award-win­ning direc­tor of An Incon­ve­nient Truth, has issued a new clar­i­on call for our times: Wait­ing for Super­man, a new film that takes a hard look at Amer­i­ca’s fail­ing pub­lic edu­ca­tion sys­tem, the chil­dren it’s leav­ing behind, and the reform­ers try­ing to turn things around. Above, you can watch the offi­cial trail­er for the movie being released in select US the­aters. And, right now, if you pledge to pur­chase a tick­et, you can also direct a dona­tion to a class­room of your choice.

Some­where down the line (and ide­al­ly soon­er than lat­er), I hope that Guggen­heim and Para­mount Pic­tures will decide to make this film freely avail­able to the pub­lic. It always struck me that the film­mak­ers lim­it­ed the impact of An Incon­ve­nient Truth by keep­ing it behind a pay wall. Hope­ful­ly, this time, they will recoup their mon­ey and give the film the free­dom to spread an impor­tant mes­sage. There’s gen­er­al­ly not a moral imper­a­tive to make films free. But, in this case, it seems a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

Note for edu­ca­tion blog­gers: The Huff­in­g­ton Post will be screen­ing the film nation­al­ly, and they invite you to attend. Get details here.

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Comments (6)
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  • Bob Calder says:

    If you wait for Super­man, he wont’ come. That’s the point. The advo­cates of char­ter school know their schools are no bet­ter than aver­age. The range of good to bad turns out to be an arti­fact of our cul­ture, not school orga­ni­za­tion. The high­er test scores are an arti­fact of low­er num­bers of kids learn­ing Eng­lish and the dis­abled.

    If you watched Incon­ve­nient Truth to find out about glob­al warm­ing, you missed a lot. In par­tic­u­lar the her­culean efforts of the Koch broth­ers and Exxon­Mo­bil to, in their own words, “man­u­fac­ture doubt”.

  • Matt says:

    I am very excit­ed to see this film and I hope it can bring this issue to the top of our domes­tic agen­da- not just polit­i­cal­ly, but cul­tur­al­ly. I need it just to get enthu­si­as­tic about teach­ing again… Help!

  • Hanoch says:

    As in any oth­er area, it is com­pe­ti­tion that con­sis­tent­ly breeds excel­lence. Pub­lic schools, how­ev­er, are large­ly immune from com­pet­i­tive forces which makes them far less account­able than they oth­er­wise would be. The teach­ers unions — shame­ful­ly putting their own inter­ests above stu­dents — reject any pro­pos­al (such as vouch­ers) that would allow par­ents who are not wealthy to choose alter­nate schools for their chil­dren. Real com­pe­ti­tion in the area of pre-col­lege edu­ca­tion would be the tru­ly effec­tive reform.

  • chilangado says:

    Could prob­lems with edu­ca­tion have any­thing to do with high­er fre­quen­cy in the Unit­ed States of two par­ents work­ing, or sin­gle par­ents who need to work? Why place blame on the sys­tem? It is dif­fi­cult when we have to work so much to pay for homes and schools.

    “Where is the wis­dom we have lost with knowl­edge? Where is the knowl­edge we have lost with infor­ma­tion?” TS Eliot

  • Denisha says:

    I will see this!

  • Jon says:

    Hanoch I rec­om­mend read­ing some of the research done by many on the sub­ject of char­ter schools as well as the myths that go into teacher bash­ing. Your argu­ments may seem nov­el but have actu­al­ly been dealt with and addressed using research. Com­pe­ti­tion from a for prof­it school with no over­sight and pri­mar­i­ly focus­ing on “teach­ing the test” is not the answer our edu­ca­tion sys­tem needs. I would advise putting the free mar­ket fetish that clear­ly clouds your eyes away for a lit­tle bit.

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