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Waiting for Superman

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Waiting for Superman is a documentary produced by the filmmaker Davis Guggenheim. It was released September 2010. In this film, Guggenheim explores how America continues to leave children behind in their education despite their "no child left behind" act. He follows five students and their families whose futures hang in the balance of the educators and reformers, trying to find real, and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system. Guggenheim argues that every American child deserves a good public school education no matter their economic status.

In the film, we see that one of the biggest obstacles to educational reform is the intractability and political power of teacher's unions, which protect the incompetent and below level members. Like the $65 million-a-year "Rubber Room" in which bad New York teachers drew full salaries while waiting lazily for the school district to prove charges of misconduct.

Despite this alarming fact, we also need to realize that not all students are created with equal intellectual aptitude. Second, not all parents are involved in their child's education. The film focuses only on hardworking, loving, and responsible parents in lower-income households who encourage their children's education. If a child does not have a parent whose authority ensures steady attendance and study, even the best teacher may be unable to reach that child. Millions of kids fail in school and even in life because their parents are negligent in their duties.

While the documentary focused mainly on the negative aspects of our education system and how it is affecting our children, the documentary also shows how charter schools are making a difference on children and their education. As I watched the film, I realized that even the success of some charter schools is not enough to cure our educational disease because parents have to submit their kids to a pitiful lottery system to determine whether their kid will be ''lucky'' enough to get a spot in a ''better'' public school than the one they are stuck in.

As the film progressed, I became more and more sadden by the kid's faces waiting to be called their names through the lottery system. I got very emotional when the kids did not get accepted to a charter school. For many of the children, it was the only chance of getting the education that every child should receive. Providing every child with the opportunity for a good public school education is vital to our nation's welfare. We should all strive to do something in order to become the best public education system in the world.

I wish the film had dug further into the specifics of how great schools succeed. Relating to more concerns that individual success stories are hard to replicate on a nationwide scale due to the enormous downside of standardize testing is a sign of how dramatically today's education system



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