01 October 2012
Waiting for ‘Superman’
The film "Waiting for Superman" follows five children as they have to struggle through a system of conflicting education regulations and avoid the academic pitfalls that are public schools in order to receive a proper education that may guarantee them a career. The film, directed by Davis Guggenheim, asserts the claim that Teachers' Unions are a main problem to public education, and that charter schools are the safest and most definite method to ensure that a student acquires a proper education. While the film was created with good intentions to improve the education of American students, it has been dismissed by most due to the film seeming to demonize Teachers’ Unions and overly-praising charter school systems. Although public schools have indeed faltered since the 1970’s, it does not mean that private schools and charter schools are the go-to solution. The truth is, public school systems have been proven to perform just as well as, if not better than, the charter schools that the film seemingly praises as a definitive solution. An article from The Washington Post by Rick Ayers talks about a survey run by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO, saying that it "concludes that only 17% of charter schools have better test scores than traditional public schools, 46% had gains that were no different than their public counterparts, and 37% were significantly worse." (Ayers.) Another popular argument that the film expresses is that the Teachers' Unions should be reformed because the regulations that the unions created make it nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher. Although Teachers' Unions do have room for improvement, throughout history and across the globe the unions have done more good than harm. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association were created to abolish the discriminatory pay rates between male and female teachers, and to...