Waiting for “Superman,” a documentary by An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Gugghenheim, will premiere in select theaters this fall. ERS attended a prescreening of the film. Here were some of our thoughts:
Karen Hawley Miles appreciated the focus on urban education but is deeply concerned that the film positioned charter schools as the sole solution to the challenges of urban education. “Districts need to focus on creating systems of high performing schools, which is the solution we need to find to make sure that kids don’t get left out. Charter schools have the same problem that traditional public schools do: some are great, some are good, some are not.”
Karen Baroody thought the film put a face on the crisis facing our urban schools. “I hope it will raise the nation’s sense of urgency around making the tough changes to improve.”
Allison Daskal Hausman thought the film did a great job using graphics. “The illustrations stick with you and they really give you an understanding of how serious and urgent the situation is for our education systems.”
Kristan Singleton was reminded of the great lengths that we will go to as parents to ensure that we can give our kids the best possible start at having a successful future. “But at the same time, I was saddened that there are opportunities open to so few. It’s an injustice for those kids who enter school lotteries to have to hear and experience, ‘Why didn’t they pick me?’ They didn’t create the problem, and it’s a tragedy that they have to live with the after-effects.”
Divya Agarwal commented that, “The film provided valuable historical context on the evolution of education reform as well as compelling examples of practices that continue to inhibit reform.”
Chris Lewis looks forward to this movie really moving the needle in terms of public awareness of educational inequity as a significant social and economic issue. But he adds, “I worry that too many viewers will come away thinking that the only opportunities for quality education for low-income students are at charter schools.”
Elliot Watts remarked, “I thought that the movie’s focus on individual children and their parents pointed to the human rights aspect of urban education disparities.”
To find out more about Waiting for “Superman,” and to pledge to see it, visit the film’s website.
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