Tom writes, "go to a theater near you after Sept. 24 and watch the new documentary “Waiting for Superman.” You’ll see just what I’m talking about.
"Directed by Davis Guggenheim, who also directed Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Waiting for Superman” takes its name from an opening interview with the remarkable Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone. HCZ has used a comprehensive strategy, including a prenatal Baby College, social service programs and longer days at its charter schools to forge a new highway to the future for one of New York’s bleakest neighborhoods."
"Canada’s point is that the only way to fix our schools is not with a Superman or a super-theory. No, it’s with supermen and superwomen pushing super-hard to assemble what we know works: better-trained teachers working with the best methods under the best principals supported by more involved parents." . . .
"“Waiting for Superman” follows five kids and their parents who aspire to obtain a decent public education but have to enter a bingo-like lottery to get into a good charter school, because their home schools are miserable failures."
"It is intolerable that in America today a bouncing bingo ball should determine a kid’s educational future, especially when there are plenty of schools that work and even more that are getting better. This movie is about the people trying to change that. The film’s core thesis is that for too long our public school system was built to serve adults, not kids. For too long we underpaid and undervalued our teachers and compensated them instead by giving them union perks. Over decades, though, those perks accumulated to prevent reform in too many districts. The best ones are now reforming, and the worst are facing challenges from charters.
Although the movie makes the claim that the key to student achievement is putting a great teacher in every classroom, and it is critical of the teachers’ unions and supportive of charters, it challenges all the adults who run our schools — teachers, union leaders, principals, parents, school boards, charter-founders, politicians — with one question: Are you putting kids and their education first?"
Folks, our school system is in a crisis. It's time that the community stop pleading our current leaders to step up and fix things. This is not going to happen. Period. Won't happen. Not in this decade. We must simply roll up our sleeves and dive on in ourselves. Demand autonomy for our principals. Demand quality teachers in the classroom. Demand a housecleaning of the bloated bureaucracy. Demand that Title 1 dollars be spent directly on support teachers working with students one on one. Demand innovative high school alternatives and charter school options. Demand transparent accounting with the check register online. Attend EVERY board meeting. Speak with board reps. Write out your demands to Ms. Tyson and the board. If you have the resources, hire educational attorneys. Our children are being harmed educationally, which is something very hard to recover. There's no time to wait for better results. Our system is failing and it's time to take control.
Here's what "The Hollywood Reporter" has to say about "Waiting for Superman" - How did 'Superman' fly with the D.C. elite?