Last night LU student activities sponsored a documentary night and for this semester they chose "Waiting for Superman". So I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on this film that wrestled with the current crisis in America's schools.
First of all, I thought it was a fantastic documentary as it had a "call" for excellent teachers... which any teacher educator would have to love. The narrator follows five families as they use the "lottery" system to find a solid education for their children. The documentary went after the teacher unions and other bureaucracy that impedes progress which is causing the movie to not receive the acclaim it deserves
With that said, there are a few problems with the movie. First of all, throughout the movie it compares our standing with other "developing" countries. And shows how low we compare to them in test scores. However, he fails to mention that no other country has a system where they educate ALL of their students.
Also, he offered a list of excellent solutions -
More Classroom Time
World Class Standards
However, he doesn't list THE greatest predictor of academic success - parental involvement. To truly change education, we have to involve the families of the children in unprecedented ways. And schools cannot use the lack of parental involvement as an excuse to throw up their hands, but involving parents must be in their tool box for true change to take place.
But I love his "call" -
"The problem is complex, but the steps are simple. It starts with teachers becoming the very best, leaders removing the barriers to change, neighbors committed to their schools, you willing to act."
And with the documentaries focus on failing and broken schools that sit in our disadvantaged communities, I can't help but think of the power that our Christian educators can have in showing the love of Christ to all of His children, everywhere.
"Great schools won’t come from winning the lottery, they won’t come from Superman, they will come from - YOU."