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Superman Soars, Education Plummets

Shocking documentary looks at weaknesses in school systems

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. 

Clark Kent June 05, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Shocking? We've known this since the 1960s. Elementary and secondary education has declined in proportion to the implementation of silly and unproductive loony, left-wing social policies aimed at homogenizing America. The Left always fears individuality, self-initative and personal responsibility; they can't control free thinkers. I trust people will favor my upcoming documentary "Turn off the TV, Turn off the computer." It's the trailblazing effort to show American parents that they are often under the control of their children, afraid to take a stand to regulate the behavior of their kids. It follows quickly upon my previous documentary "Make Dinner for the Kidz," an expose of the lack by so many parents to actually cook a meal (at least once a day) for their kids instead of sending them to Mickey Dee's, KFC and pizzerias. To believe that this movie will change education is as preposterous as believing that complaining about gas prices will magically lower them. The "leaders" in the educational racket are afraid to take a stand on student behavior and student "achievement" that they bend and contort themselves to accomodate any hint of a complaint by a parent, the ACLU or illegal immigrants; the office of the "administrator" is nothing but a hotbed of political correctness, educational fads, curricular monstrosities and social theories. America apparently has lost its will to live. Everybody just wants to "hope." Hope never got anything DONE.

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