Waiting for SUPERMAN: A Participant Media Guide by Karl Weber
“Waiting for ‘Superman'”: An Assessment from a Social Justice Perspective
Documentary film. Released fall Saving Schools Paul E. It follows five students navigating the public school system and then interviews prominent educational reformers about how to improve the educational system. Over the course of minutes, Guggenheim quicksteps us through an abbreviated version of American educational history and alerts us to an array of complex, multilayered, and persistent historical and societal problems. Given the enormity of challenges that American schools face, where Guggenheim chooses to go next is surprising. From the host of problems presented, he subtly guides the viewer toward what he perceives as the real problem of education: bad teachers and the unions that protect them.
Love it or hate it, Davis Guggenheim’s education documentary has everyone talking.
All it would take to save schoolkids was muscle and a miracle. But America can't exist on muscle anymore.
In the accompanying book, Guggenheim positions himself as an expert on schools and education, and the film as expressing that expertise. My own comments for this particular audience build on some very valuable critical resources out there, which I list and annotate at the end of my post. There are other serious problems with the film and I will deal with them in later posts, but preview them at the end of this post. For decades, social justice activists, scholars, and community activists have decried the gaps in education available to children in different communities, defined both by class and by race, and have organized to call attention to and rectify these gaps. Indeed, Guggenheim sees the film as an inheritor of the Civil Rights Movement, about which his father, Charles, also a documentarian, made several films.
Download Article Fanning the flames is a controversial documentary, Waiting for Superman , which paints a grim picture of the education system in the United States today. Waiting for Superman has raised a lot of fear and anger. But many parents describe leaving the theater a bit unclear about the core points the film is trying to make and unsure how to take action in light of their strong emotional response. Though money doubled, reading and math scores have flat-lined. And US schools produce lower test scores than many comparable countries despite spending more on education than any other country. Why you should care: Every American that pays taxes has a vested interest in the school system. Do the math.
EARLY this month, as he drove his Prius model year , nonleather seats down a bohemian artery of Venice, the gentrifying neighborhood where he lives, Davis Guggenheim passed a public school. Even though it is within walking distance of his home, each day he or his wife bypasses the school while delivering their children to private school. Guggenheim, an Oscar-winning documentarian and self-described lefty, worries that his children are growing up in a bubble. He would like to enroll them in public schools. But at this one, Westminster Avenue Elementary, only about half the students pass their state math and English tests.