The September 20, 2010 issue of Time Magazine has an article titled: “A Call to Action for Public Schools”. This article by Amanda Ripley, takes a look at the call for the reform of K-12 public education that is made by the documentary, Waiting for “Superman”. This documentary is the work of Davis Guggenheim who won an academy award for the film An Inconvenient Truth, which has ultimately changed the way that Americans think about climate change.
The documentary follows five families, students and parents, from across the United States who are trying to escape from low-performing neighborhood schools by participating in a lottery that would allow the child to attend a high-performing public charter school. Guggenheim, in a trailer, stated that while he is busy shedding light on the challenges faced by many Americans who are relegated to accepting low-performing public schools, he passes several of those schools as he takes his daughters to private schools.
While schools are beginning to determine what works and what doesn’t, and as more emphasis is being placed on results rather than effort, education reform is beginning. There are beacons of hope, both in public and charter schools where against all odds, young people are participating in stellar learning communities. States are being pressured to make changes and to demand the necessary changes to a system that has long been the purveyor of the status quo.
Waiting for “Superman” was scheduled for release on September 24th, but many experienced the message of the film in private screenings held around the country. If you haven’t had a chance to attend a screening, make the effort. It is worth it!