Waiting for “Superman” is a documentary that shadows the lives of five kids and their families as they try to escape their failing neighborhood public schools for higher-performing public charter schools. Public charter schools use the tax money that would otherwise go to perpetuate a failing neighborhood public school to create advanced learning institutions. Interestingly enough, it shatters the theory that poor neighborhoods breed a poor education. The example of charter schools in Harlem and Washington D.C. show the exact opposite – a poor education breeds a poor neighborhood.
The movie interviews many excellent teachers and education reformers who have failed in their pursuit to improve the public education system. The unyielding power of the labor unions and the protection afforded to its members has crippled the education system that has been in place since the early 1970′s. It has failed miserably and will continue to fail if allowed to continue in its present state. It’s not about educating our children; it’s all about protecting the bureaucracy and the adults that comprise it. Our educational system is failing because it cannot reward good teachers or fire bad ones.
I am the product of a public education. I believe it was for the most part, a good education. I had teachers who cared, who inspired, and who were good at their job. However, I also had teachers that didn’t teach. There was one teacher that would start a lesson, have a psychotic meltdown, and hide under his desk for the rest of the period. Another teacher would play Cheech & Chong albums for the entire period while the guys on the basketball team passed around the ball – he was the basketball coach.
For all the Presidents that have made education a number one priority, nothing has changed. We just throw more money at the problem instead of actually fixing it. The United States has more than doubled the money it spends per student since 1971 and yet we as a nation are behind most other nations in math and science. Whether you have children or not, these are your tax dollars going into a system that has been purposely broken, meant to dumb down our children – our natural resource, our future. This documentary will frustrate and sadden you. It will also give you hope as it shows actual working solutions to our problems. We as Americans need to stand up and say enough is enough.
I urge you to watch this very important documentary, and then tell your friends to watch it. For information on how you can join the fight, please go to www.waitingforsuperman.com/action/