Who will lead us into the future? Our children. In the rapidly changing age of technology, we have no choice but to compete in a global economy. If we choose to stand still, the rest of the world will pass us by. This film brings to life several issues facing our current education system: failing schools, lagging test scores, and unqualified teachers. Through this lens, the film sets the foundation for what our future holds. The film shares, “Among 30 developed countries, we rank 25th in math and 21st in science.” They go on to say that the United states has fallen behind in almost every category, except one. Students rank the highest in student confidence, with 72% believing they rank high in academics. What does this say to you?
Waiting for Superman is a documentary of five young people, ranging from first graders to high school students. Each of these students is motivated to gain a good high school education and go to college, without the promise of attending a quality high school with qualified teachers. Some schools are referred to as “academic sinkholes” and “drop-out factories” that either try push students through the system, or lose them to drop-out. The film shares that those who don’t finish high school will “earn less and be 8 times more likely to go to prison.” What is the solution? Some say that we need to fire all unqualified teachers, regardless of their tenure status. Others send their children to private or charters schools.
I was saddened by a seemingly upbeat statement in the film, “Someone has taken an interest in you, someone loves you, and they recognize the importance of education.” This statement, made by a charter school administrator, ignores the reality that private/charter schools are not an equally available or a guaranteed option for all young people. It also leads people to believe that private/charter schools are always better. Is this true? It takes more than sending children to elite, or select schools. It takes good teachers, and a country of passionate adults who are willing to invest in our education system, train our teachers, and hold people accountable for doing quality work. Consider another statement in the film, “When you see a great teacher, you are seeing a work of art.” Let’s foster a culture that support this ideal.
Things to consider:
- Do you believe the United States is falling behind?
- Are private & charter schools always better?
- What do you believe we need to strengthen our education system?
- How does what is available to students impact student motivation and achievement?
Share your thoughts……………..