Is what's said in Waiting for Superman all really true? If so, we should be worried…quite worried. What is wrong with this country? Can’t we even educate our children? We’re not some third world country (sorry, that’s not PC anymore…how about "developing country") that does not have the budget or the teachers or, especially the wherewithal to make sure our kids get a decent, well-rounded schooling.
So, what the heck is wrong with us? Well, if this film is true, then we all need to be asking ourselves these questions. As I say about many documentaries, especially most Michael Moore films, if even 20 percent of it is true, we should be very afraid.
Director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) documents five children as they head out on their educational path. Mostly, this film focuses its attention on public schools and how they do little to foster a child’s desire for learning.
Is it money? Of course…but it is also more deep seated than just funding. These big city public schools have a reputation for being worthless learning centers. This has been ingrained in all of us – inner city public schools are BAD! In return, governments ignore them. Teachers don’t put any effort into educating. Parents accept that their kids, having no choice than to go to these dismal schools, will not be properly educated.
Well, SHAME ON this mentality. Guggenheim’s focus here, I believe, is to instigate change. He wants people to see this documentary and be outraged…which would be hard not to be. Hopefully, this outrage will turn into more support for some of the grass-roots educational programs…or even more people starting some new methods of teaching, as alternatives to public schools.
Also, I think that Guggenheim does not want to give up on the public schools. He sees hope here. And by educating people with his film, maybe enough Americans will rise up and demand change not only in education but change in PUBLIC education. Will any of this happen? Will it happen as a result of this film? Possibly, though unlikely. At least we now know what a mountain of problems we are up against, thanks to this highly informative and thought-provoking film.
Waiting for Superman: 2010, PG, directed by Davis Guggenheim. The Niles Public Library owns copies of this DVD.