Waiting for Superman

The American education establishment is braced for the release, later this week, of Waiting for Superman, the latest documentary from ‘The Inconvenient Truth‘ director Davis Guggenheim. While the 2006 dual-Oscar winning ‘Truth’ brought the attention of the world to the former Vice-President’s campaign to raise awareness of global warming issues  – the film was distributed free to all Scottish secondary schools, causing some commentators to express concern that children were being fed a politically biased account of an as-yet unproven theory – Waiting for Superman profiles some of the real people behind the shocking statistics  of the US state education system, and looks at the so-called ‘drop-out factories’ and ‘academic sinkholes’, laying the blame largely, if not entirely, on poor teaching standards and the power of the teaching unions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘The film isn’t exhaustive in its critique — the enormous downside of standardized testing isn’t mentioned, for instance, possibly because testing is how we know just how dramatically today’s system is failing — but it cites plenty of blood-boiling practices, like the $65 million-a-year “Rubber Room” in which bad New York teachers draw full salaries while waiting idly for the school district to prove charges of misconduct.’

How accurate a depiction the film is will no doubt be the subject of much debate, but with the latest statistics suggesting that something in the region of 1.2 million young people drop out of school in the USA each year, almost 50% fail to graduate from high school in the 50 largest cities, and one in six young people attends a high-poverty school,  the inconvenient truth upon which everyone seems to agree is that things need to change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s