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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