Greatest Black Movies

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Waiting for Superman

Waiting for Superman

“Waiting for Superman” is a new documentary directed by the director of “An “Inconvenient truth” and highlights our failing schools which according to the world ranking, we as Americans rank as low as 15th in reading, 19th in math and 14th in science. The movie highlights the problems in some of these failing schools and the innovators such as Geoffrey Canada with Harlem Zone and Michelle Rhee in D.C. This is such a complex problem that I could not possibly tackle it in a short blog, but I will try to shed a little light on the problems. I first must say that this is a movie that should be seen by all educators because it may spark ideas. I am definitely gonna get out there and view it based on the fact that I am an educator, who works part-time in a school that boosters a 50% graduation rate, up from the mid 40 % range, in a school with almost a 90% African American population. Many of the worse schools in America are predominately black and Latino. And African Americans have an overall 50% graduation rate, which is a far cry from the national average of which is around 70%. These children who do not graduate from high school have an over 60% more likely to end up in some level of the prison system. My stance like many others is that education is a civil right and we need to fight like we fought in the 60s to ensure that our children get the best possibly education regardless of the color of their skin or the neighborhood that they are born in, because education is the great equalizer. The documentary detailed that 7000 children drop out every day in America. And last year when I was substituting for a english class a young man all of 16 walked up to me and told me that this would be his last day, because he was dropping out. I tried to talk him out of it, however, I had a weak argument because his school kind of sucked. I mean the classes are overcrowded with children that don't want to learn and teachers that are not up to the task. How do I reach these children?
In the new documentary some say that they are bashing public schools and propping up Charter schools and I’m not sure if that is the case. All I know is that we need new ideas because what we are doing is NOT WORKING and if Geoffrey Canada and Michelle Rhee have an idea that may work then I need to hear it. So I will say again love it or hate it, see it


  1. Your anecdote about the kid who said "Today is my last day of school" reminds me of the scene in Lean on Me when drug dealer Kid Ray tells principal Mr. Clark he's moving up in the world . . . by quitting. Mr. Clark predicts he'll be dead in a year. (Clark famously chained the school doors to keep out thugs who came on campus to beat Ray.)
    But you make a good point: A diploma from the school you were sub-ing may not be worth staying there for.
    Very sad.

  2. I recently saw this film and was blown away by the hard scary facts about most school in the US and how far we have fallen behind on a global scale in math and science. There are even schools that have nick names such as Drop Out Factory and some schools that have really good teachers but don't have the resources. The nation has to shout as loud as they can WAKE UP! Or else our schools will keep failing.

    Also in this film it talked about some of the red tape that true new school innovators have to go through to make simple changes and teachers unions and how powerful they really are.

    I agree with you that all educators should see this film and make it their