Documentary Waiting for ‘Superman’ Tells A Sad Story On American Education
just finished watching Waiting for ‘Superman’. I’d read good things about the documentary, but I had no idea that it would touch me the way that it did. I have always believed that if you want to change the world the way to do it is through education. Educated individuals don’t cause war, they don’t stay in poverty, go to jail or raise dysfunctional families at the levels of those that aren’t educated. The problems of the financial meltdown, high unemployment rates and worldwide conflict is mostly the fault of uneducated ignorance.
The revolution in Tunisia was started by an educated individual setting himself on fire because of the injustices put upon him and his nation. Tunisia is actually a fairly well educated nation because of state provided education, but the breakdown occurred because those educated people couldn’t find work in a recession. Mohammed Bouazizi was a 26-year-old computer science educated man who was forced to sell vegetables in the street to feed his family. The rest of the Jasmine Revolution is history and the tipping point has already been felt across the Arab world.
Waiting on ‘Superman’ focuses on the problems with the American primary and secondary education system. It essentially tells how our school systems are broken, but a few innovative schools have begun to surface that have figured out the correct formula. Many people are probably familiar with Geoffrey Canada and his Harlem Children’s Zone. His story is of the focal successes in the movie and such a positive one that it is!
What really gets me about this movie is the group of about a half dozen children whose stories we follow as they try to get into one of the successful schools and out of the current “drop out factories” that they are currently in line to attend. These kids have these slivers of hope with these alternative education that is proven to work, but it comes down to essentially winning the lottery. The fact that we let young children’s future come down to a lottery is bottom line scary. I realize that this is a grand over-simplication and not every child who follows the path of public school in front of them is doomed to fail, but the odds are greatly stacked against them. We should be investing everything in education and children.
I encourage everyone to watch this film with an open mind and heart. Learn the facts for yourself. My education has been such a vital part of my life and career. Every child should have the same opportunity. We also know that through education and love that children in tough neighborhoods have a much higher likelihood of succeeding in life and avoiding prison. I found the following image (above) very telling. If you’re really curious about the details of the image then just watch the movie. Also the video below is very telling.