Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Waiting for Superman - Teachers. Find the Kryptonite




First he took on global warming in the film, "An inconvenient truth." Now documentary filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim is taking on public education in his new film, "Waiting for Superman".

Waiting for Superman examines the 'crisis' of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories-from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system.

This is a film to keep an eye on. It should be out this summer. If early returns are any indication (Sundance Film Winner) then educators should be out in front of this sure-to-be tidal wave of discontent towards public education.

Not since 1983 when Reagan released "A Nation at Risk" has education faced criticism of this nature. Remember the Commission Report that found poor academic performance at nearly every level and warned that the education system was "being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity." Paul Houston, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators disagreed and was quoted as saying, "A Nation at Risk was an overstatement of the problem, and it led to sort of hysterical responses."

Some educational historians consider A Nation At Risk to be a turning point in public sentiment regarding the quality of public schools and the scholarship of teachers.

Will "Waiting for Superman" spread faster than a speeding bullet or will it be more powerful than a locomotive? In short, will it have a similar effect to A Nation at Risk? I predict it will.

Stay tuned. Teachers I suggest you begin gathering your Kryptonite with all deliberate speed.