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Waiting for Superman

 
 
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 05:51 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKTfaro96dg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,428 • Replies: 32
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 05:54 am
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/superman_strikes_rOjgz9lxSQDQSo2hWpQiMI

Quote:

It’s the film the teachers unions don’t want you to see.
The revelatory documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman’ ” opened Friday to parents’ cheers — and union howls.

The film follows five families trying desperately to escape failing traditional public schools in favor of charter schools — and it profiles education reformers rebuilding a national school system that’s in ruins.

The unions panned the flick, naturally: It exposes how they drag kids down into the swamp, spotlighting how bad teachers are passed from school to school and how all-but-automatic tenure allows even the worst teachers to stay on the job....


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/superman_strikes_rOjgz9lxSQDQSo2hWpQiMI#ixzz10dTqnFxt

0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 05:57 am
The demoKKKrat party claims to represent the common man... And yet, the two major sources of funding for the party are the trial lawyers' organization and public service unions, particularly the NEA, the interests of both of which are diametrically opposed to those of the ordinary citizen.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 05:57 am




0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 06:57 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

The demoKKKrat party claims to represent the common man... And yet, the two major sources of funding for the party are the trial lawyers' organization and public service unions, particularly the NEA, the interests of both of which are diametrically opposed to those of the ordinary citizen.

Teddy Kennedy once said the Democrat party was the voice of the common people... Well only because the parties have gagged the common people, and what it hears, most of the frustration and pain ot the people it translates into actions and innactions they alone seek... Not all problems are national, but the parites mean that you have to make a federal case to make anything happen at a local level... And I disagree with you about unions... The rich have their unions, the corporations, but they contain far less people and look out for themselves even more than the trade unions... I was put out of my union, and it is still the best organization I have ever belonged to... The united states was created with the cause of justice and defense and unity in mind, but the unions actually work at it... And we would be a whole lot closer to revolution if all the unions were squashed, because in building and defending their own piece of Ameirica they also defend America and I would rather see America without that impediment to change... In fact, if the government stood up for justice instead of defending injustice we would need no unions, and no corporations would be allowed who could not always keep open books to prove they were acting in the greater good of The People...
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 10:34 am
I really want to see this film.

I think it's really interesting that the film is viewed to have a "liberal" bias.

A lot of the "liberal" education reformers are against charter schools as they see them as the first step to privitizing and to eventually dismanteling the public school system.

Some say that big corporations are behind NCLB and other achievement testing as a step towards a national cirriculum -- that big business with big bucks will be able to decide what kids will be taught and that local school districts will have no control.

So I'm not sure that this movie is, in fact, liberal, at all.

I'm a fence sitting moderate so I'm not yet sure what to believe.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 11:03 am
@boomerang,
I want to see it, also. Oprah did two hour-long shows on it last week (I taped both) and it's apparently very emotional. I hope it doesn't get 'politicized', but rather starts the conversation of what works, what doesn't work and what really needs to be done.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 11:11 am
@Irishk,
Agreed. That's a conversation this country desperatley needs to have.

But that's really what the "liberal" arguement about charter schools centers on -- if we can convince enough people that the public schools cannot properly educate our kids, that charter schools and other choices are necessary -- then we've convinced them that government run schools are unnecessary.
thack45
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 07:12 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Agreed. That's a conversation this country desperatley needs to have.

How about we start by funding all public schools equally?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 06:17 am
@thack45,
Ok.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 06:35 am
@boomerang,
I'm pretty liberal, I think, and I have been very pro-charter school. I was on the board to start a charter school (two times), and have been very involved.

One of my biggest beefs with educational theory in general is the panacea approach. I see over and over again something that works well in one context and then it's leapt upon -- there! It works! Let's do it everywhere!

It's at the "let's do it everywhere" stage that it tends to fall apart.

Charter schools fall into that category too, in my experience. A lot of them are really, really good. Especially when the whole thing started. But as it has become more widespread and more panacea-ish, the quality is definitely deteriorating. Some are still very very good. Some are even worse than the public schools that they're trying to replace.

The lack of oversight is both a great way to foster innovation and a real temptation for ne'er-do-wells to grab some money.

This means that my enthusiasm for charter schools has become somewhat tempered since I was very involved (about 1996-2002).

So while I don't think there are any panaceas, I think one of the biggest single elements is elevating the pay and prestige of teachers. I think "Teach for America" is a really good program and is a step in that direction. Giving the really bright students an incentive to get in there and start teaching as a career. I was just reading about a really interesting school that was created in large part by former Teach for America people.

When all other things are equal -- curricula, buildings, resources, etc. -- it is the individual teachers who make the biggest difference. This is a long-term impression I've had that has been reinforced by more and more studies.

That's just one element of a really huge and really messy equation, though.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 06:55 am
@sozobe,
I'm really neither "pro" or "con" regarding charter schools which is one of the reasons I want to see this film. I need more information.

My comment was really related to the link gunga posted that mentions "Hollywood liberals". A lot of the uber-liberals are anti-charter school.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 07:24 am
@boomerang,
Are they? I guess I haven't run into many of 'em.

When I was involved it was a pretty liberal bastion. (Liberals were likely to be pro charter schools but anti vouchers.)

But understood.

I'm interested in seeing the movie, too...
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 07:55 am
Public schools probably should be only for those kids nobody else will take. Everybody else should be attending schools owned and controlled by their own neighborhoods.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 08:03 am
@sozobe,
I started reading about charter schools early last summer when my neighbor's kid got a spot in one after being wait listed for years. I didn't save all my of my reading anywhere but this article is not atypical:

http://www.vanderbiltorbis.com/2.12253/schools-for-sale-privatizing-education-in-america-1.1611897
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 08:41 am
Here's a piece on it as it relates to this movie:

http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/16416,858

One of the links takes you to:

http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/searching-for-superguy-in-gotham/
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 10:08 am
It's Just a Movie
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 10:50 am
@Irishk,
True.

But I think there will be people who see it as a call to arms (Oprah?) and won't bother getting down and dirty looking at what is really going on.

Gunga sees charter schools as some evil liberal epidemic; (some) liberals see charter schools as a conservative corporate takeover of the public schools.

I've read a lot about it and I can't even make up my mind.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 11:21 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
But I think there will be people who see it as a call to arms (Oprah?) and won't bother getting down and dirty looking at what is really going on.


That's what I'm hoping, too. When I was preparing to watch Oprah's shows (mainly because Geoffrey Canada would be featured), I was dreading that it might become the "pro-charter, anti-union" argument that's so pervasive in the political arena. There was actually very little of that. Teacher unions were definitely mentioned, but there was little to none of the bashing I'd feared. Rather, there was some thoughtful parsing of the problem with a few examples of what some schools are facing. What was missing were any definitive answers to that particular problem.

If it's dealt with in the movie, I'll be interested in their conclusions (if any).
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 12:25 pm
@Irishk,
It's good to hear that her show was balanced; she's alarmingly influential!

It's hard to get down to the nitty-gritty because it's almost impossible to find the nitty-gritty about this stuff.
0 Replies
 
 

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