Waiting for Superman, a film by Davis Guggenheim

Key assertions in the film:

1. given increased spending per student since 1980, test scores have remained flat

2. given that every President since Johnson has wanted to be the education President little real change has occurred

3. given that the economy has changed since 1950, US schools haven’t kept up and many have become dropout factories

4.  even schools in the suburbs, have not pushed the standards up on all students, they continue to put students on tracks which may not actually lead to college

5. unions are entrenched and resistant to change that needs to happen to keep this country competitive

6. teachers are demoralized or disenchanted and cannot be fired easily, conversely excellent teachers cannot be rewarded

7. parochial and charter/magnate schools are trying to keep up, but demand outstrips supply, forcing lotteries

8. some charter schools have shown that the rich / poor gap in test achievement can be closed

9. Geoffrey Canada’s breakthrough was realizing that children need to be tracked from birth to graduation in order to ensure reliable results


My questions: 

  • how did jaded teachers get that way?
  • how do you bust the union?
  • is it too late for some students?
  • when is the film going to be available free on the internet?

Recent articles:

How Superman could revive Canada’s charter school movement, National Post, Paul W. Bennet, Oct 7, 2010

Announcing HuffPost Education:  Turning a Spotlight on America’s Education Moment, Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, October 4, 2010

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