Waiting for Superman

Waiting for Superman

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.

Image via Wikipedia

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……………..


Author: Shelly D Mahon

I have been working with families and teens for almost 20 years, and teaching in a university setting since the year 2000. My commitment is that parents have the support and resources they need to take care of themselves and foster the growth and development of their children. ABOUT ME I have a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and over 20 years of experience working with youth and families. No matter what your family structure, I am committed to helping you make your family work. I can guid you in effectively managing divorce, strengthening parent-child relationships, embracing the teenage years, reducing risks and increasing resiliency in your families. If fostering the growth and development of your children is important to you, I am committed to working with you. APART, NOT BROKEN: LEARN, CONNECT, & CREATE! Apart, Not Broken is for divorced or separated parents who want to: Move past fear, pain, & guilt Create the life they want with their child Manage their relationship with their ex Contribute to others Be the creator of their future The program gives you a place to: Learn: Hear others real experiences and insights. Receive information and recommendations that can make a measurable difference in adjusting and parenting after separation or divorce. Connect: Join an online community. Learn to use creative strategies to connect with your child and manage your relationship with their ex-partner. Create: Feel powerful in your ability to be the parent YOU want to be. Create the relationship YOU want with their child by building on existing strengths, starting new traditions, and creating lasting memories. This program has: – Videos reflecting real life experiences; – Online tools for sharing photos, comparing calendars, communicating, and more; – Current & concise information about divorce & parenting after divorce; – Engaging activities to enjoy with their child; & – Additional resources to build their own parenting toolbox. Happy Parenting, Shelly I took my first Human Development and Family Studies course as an undergraduate at 18 years old. This was the beginning of a lifetime love and commitment to this field. I have another online program Parenting Through Middle School. I am the mother of two teens myself. This has been an interesting journey and quite the adventure. Over the years, I have learned that parenting takes a lot of energy, but it is well worth the effort. To me, parenting brings to life an ever-changing spectrum of human emotion. It is filled with moments of love, excitement, anticipation, expectations, fears, hopes, and dreams. It has made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time! Just when I think I have everything figured out, my children change. In these moments I realize that I too must change. As they grow, I find myself looking for the balance between teaching them my values, beliefs, and interests and helping them discover and develop into their own unique individual characters. I love to exercise, eat well, sing and play my piano. My favorite sports are running, mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding, yoga, Pilates, and most recently, road biking. Happy Parenting! Shelly

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