Waiting for "Superman"
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From the Academy Award-winning Director of An Inconvenient Truth comes the groundbreaking feature film that provides an engaging and inspiring look at public education in the United States. Waiting For “Superman” has helped launch a movement to achieve a real and lasting change through the compelling stories of five unforgettable students such as Emily, a Silicon Valley eighth-grader who is afraid of being labeled as unfit for college and Francisco, a Bronx first-grader whose mom will do anything to give him a shot at a better life. Waiting For “Superman” will leave a lasting and powerful impression that you will want to share with your friends and family.
In a documentary sure to get parents and teachers talking--and arguing--An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim offers an eye-opening overview of America's ailing educational system. Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, serves as his primary speaker. As a kid in the Bronx, Canada learned that Superman didn't exist, which broke his heart, but also inspired him to help other underprivileged children. Aside from Canada and Washington, DC, school chancellor Michelle Rhee, Guggenheim profiles Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, engaging young people without access to institutions adequate to their needs (Guggenheim concentrates on the inner city). Bianca's single mother, for instance, sends her daughter to a private facility in New York, but that ends when she can no longer afford the tuition. The five families choose the charter school option, but not every child will win the lottery, since applicants outnumber spaces (in Bianca's case, 767 apply for 35 slots). Guggenheim also questions teachers' unions, which sometimes act against the best interests of students. He's particularly concerned about underperforming instructors who suffer no disciplinary measures due to tenure, but he credits the dedicated professionals who help at-risk kids beat the odds. The film ends with a potentially happy outcome for one subject, but updates on the others fail to materialize. After investing in their stories, it's natural to expect more information. Guggenheim otherwise provides a persuasive argument that involved parents will always have an advantage over those who accept whatever comes their way--no matter how ineffective. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Changing the Odds: A look at innovative programs that are changing public education
Public Education Updates: Changes which have taken place since the making of the film
A Conversation with Davis Guggenheim
The Future Is In Our Classrooms
The Making of "Shine": the film’s title track by musician John Legend Commentary by Director Davis Guggenheim and Producer Lesley Chilcott
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I was shocked and saddened by what I saw. The person who told me to watch this documentary even mentioned, "If you watch it and don't cry, you might be a robot." There were numerous points in the film which caused me to tear up. This documentary followed students - typically those who did not have as many means as others. Their schooling - be it their teachers or the tracking system - was letting them down. I firmly believe that every child should have access to a decent education and it hurts to think that some people don't because of their race, finances, or anything else.
In the film, we saw students who truly wanted an education and wanted to succeed. We also saw some who had a difficult time in school because they did not feel supported by their teachers. Some of the students expressed that they wanted to do and be better, go to college, and eventually provide for their kids in a way that they hadn't been provided for.
This taught me some information about charter schools which I did not know before. The lottery for the children to get into the charter schools was heartbreaking. It stinks to see kids, and parents who want to do right by their children, not be able to receive a proper education.
I hope that, in the future, we will be able to implement educational reform so that all children are able to get a proper education. For anybody interested in the current educational system or charter schools, I would urge you to watch this.
Please rate my review as “helpful”, if it helped you. Thanks!
The only shortfall I would have to acknowledge is that there are so many passionate, creative teachers and administrators doing their best and that was not emphasized in the movie. The comments vilifying Waiting For Superman just shows how insecure some people are toward change. If you can't acknowledge the statistics showing how many kids are falling through the cracks then you are part of the problem.
With so many children and parents relying on a lottery system that leaves to much child potential to chance in sub-standard school districts, I realized that I could help alleviate this problem.Thanks to Waiting For Superman, I finally found a purpose (after my family of course)to wake up for each morning. I highly recommend this movie to anyone seeking knowledge on how the current system works and what to do about it.
"Waiting for Superman" also gives us hope when describing schools such as Kipp Schools and Charter Schools. Kipp Schools, with no teacher tenure, have also implemented a certain teaching method that is mass producing kids who end up going all the way through college!
Not only do I recommend this film, I recommend and encourage that you watch it, and buy extras to give as presents to every pregnant couple that you know!