Waiting for Superman Review

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Waiting for Superman
Waiting for Superman is a documentary that attempts to show inequalities in what is supposed to be a fair public education system. The film is primarily centered on five families and their attempt to secure a better education for their children. The movie shows several hardships the families have to endure and somewhat ironically, the most emotional moment for me involved one young girl not being allowed to attend her elementary school graduation because her mother fell behind on payments at a private school. After watching Waiting for Superman I was divided in my feelings for it. After reflecting on the movie I am not sure what exactly the underlying theme of the movie is other than saying that some public school are bad and some charter schools are good. The movie never goes into the bad schools and identifies problems (other than teacher’s unions) nor does it look at the charter schools and identifies what they are doing to stand out. Waiting for Superman merely presents a few anecdotes and says there is a problem without ever revealing an underlying problem or a solution. The film loves to toss around numbers such a, “Fifty years ago the United States had the best education system in the world” without putting anything into context. My first thought when I hear statement similar to this is how do we know? We did not have standardized testing in the states. If there was some form of uniform testing whom got tested? Even though there was mandatory school attendance in the United States at this time, how strictly was it enforced and was it enforced equally among all schools—rich, poor, black, white, etc. Furthermore, fifty years ago most of the industrialized world was still trying to recover from World War II so to compare United States Education in 2009 to 1959 is unrealistic. Furthermore is the spending issue. Yes, we are spending more per student than we were before. However, with the Individuals with Disabilities...
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