Waiting for superman
24 September 2013
Waiting for Superman Essay If you had a child and lived in an undeveloped area with poor educational facilities would you not seek out the best alternatives available? Would you not go out and discover what opportunities offer the greatest chance for success and embrace every single one of them in an effort to give your child unlimited opportunities? In the film we viewed in class, we were shown unbelievable and also amazing scenarios where children and their parents were forced into similar situations as addressed above. All the parents and guardians of the children in the film would have answered yes to all and any questions similar to the ones prescribed above. They explored all the alternatives they could in desperate attempts to get their children the quality of education they believed they not only needed, but also deserved. The one unique thing about all these possible solutions is that they don’t seem to come from those demanding the proper results, the government. Instead the most promising solutions are coming from private foundations, innovative and motivated individuals, and persistent efforts. First, the Houston originating creators of the KIPP academies, now cranking out successful students in less than reputable areas, were brilliant minds who collaborated to make schools that utilized methods they had observed from the most proficient educators. This seems as though their idea would have been implemented long ago. However, for the longest time the American education system had been filled with staff and facilities which allowed low quality educations to pass their students. The KIPP academies at first did not seem to be a realistic method for solving the education crisis due to the selective process and limited facilities. Eventually though, the KIPP academies began branching out to other major metropolises, servicing many areas that had been suffering due to similar learning systems. KIPP, like many of the other special success schools in the greater cities, has one downfall. High demand but low availability, thusly these great facilities are forced to leave the fates of prospective students to chance in lottery systems. In the greater scheme of things though the fact is that the schools are doing what they set out to do and that is produce successful students and not just let them slide through. Additionally, the most promising solutions must have people behind them to create and enforce or support. Geoffrey Canada and Michelle Rhee were these kind of individuals who better not only the educational systems they directly interacted with bust also the national education system as a whole. Without the efforts of Geoffrey Canada, one of the poorest areas in New York’s Harlem district would have turned into a complete fail factory. Canada undoubtedly committed one hundred percent to the effort of fixing the areas educational facilities. He, along with the support of the community members helped not only give the students adequate educations but in many cases helped produce grand successes. Canada had the enthusiasm to break through the barrier of failure in the area and his success continues today as a consequence. Another individual, who in no way fell short of the enthusiasm of Canada, was Michelle Rhee, Superintendent of the Washington D.C. school districts. Rhee, who lacked any experience in her position as a high-level school administrator, faced much adversity when it came to her efforts in reforming the schools of the nation’s capitol. Rhee, at first, seemed full of vigor and life. She had a tough reputation and seemed as though she was really going to crack down on the system. However, as did Canada, she faced much resistance from the teachers and bureaucracy of the area. The teachers who had for so long been able to coast on their sub-par efforts had their jobs called into question, they retaliated with the support of their unions, laws, and contracts. Rhee seemed defeated after this point, but much to anyone’s surprise, Rhee came back with a strong force of her own. She pushed through the red tape and was able to succeed. Lastly, all these stories of success seem to focus around one ability, determination. Without this, the KIPP academies would have surely failed. Canada would have never turned the Harlem school district around and Rhee may have wound up assassinated, probably not but possibly. But all these solutions and innovators had the endurance and enthusiasm to teach and support to keep their efforts and progress moving forward. Rhee especially could have easily given up after her major setback with the school boards and unions. She faced the most adversity and still prevailed. The most effective solutions are those that do not stop until they succeed. That is where many of the other efforts fell short. Government grants run out and get wasted on unrestricted spending. Bills get shot down. Bureaucracy gets in the way and hinders the efforts of those less motivated. To summarize, the most effective and promising solutions rest within those who feel the drive and motivation to succeed and produce results. If not for those of KIPP academy, Geoffrey Canada, and Michelle Rhee, many students would not be where they are today. The students are the key point in all this promising solutions result in successful students not just passing students. Many efforts can produce passing students but in the competitive world we live in today, passing students are not what we need. We need students who can create, maintain, and efficiently defend what we as a nation represent and rely on. Any solution that can produce this kind of student is most promising indeed.