Waiting For Superman

"Waiting for Superman" is a 2010 documentary film from director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott. The film analyzes the (perceived) failures of American public education by following several students through the educational system.

To some, the film takes an easy and cheap shot at the 'Education System', (whatever that is). At least for the filmmaker, who attended private schools as a child, the answer to the 'problem' of Public Education is charter schools.

Diane Ravitch, Education Policy analyst and historian, characterized the film in her review titled 'The Myth of Charter Schools' in the New York Times as follows:

"For many people, these arguments require a willing suspension of disbelief. Most Americans graduated from public schools, and most went from school to college or the workplace without thinking that their school had limited their life chances. There was a time—which now seems distant—when most people assumed that students’ performance in school was largely determined by their own efforts and by the circumstances and support of their family, not by their teachers. There were good teachers and mediocre teachers, even bad teachers, but in the end, most public schools offered ample opportunity for education to those willing to pursue it."

The uncomfortable reality is that there are many who agree with the over-generalized and manipulative message of the film-as if there is ONE 'problem' and which can be 'cured' with ONE 'solution'. Pure and simple: It is film making and film making is intended to make a profit. If your topic is controversial enough and you shine alight on that controversy, eyes and ears will follow.

On the one hand, the film can be dismissed with a laugh as petty and sensationalist. However, with so much money poured into its promotion, many unfamiliar with the true terrain of Education could be hoodwinked into believing that ALL pubic schools and ALL Public School Teachers are 'the problem' which is not helpful to any hard working teacher or public school system in the U.S.

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