Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Get 'reel' about education failures Movie on school woes enrages unions

An article in the NY Post about Waiting for Superman, quoting Joe Williams:


Director Davis Guggenheim interweaves an explanation of how the public schools got to the sorry state they're in.

He targets teacher tenure, the city's infamous "rubber rooms," and the "dance of the lemons" -- where bad teachers are passed along from school to school rather than being shown the exit.

Local education reformers, including Geoffrey Canada, head of the Harlem Children's Zone, are also featured.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew called it "a Hollywood movie with Hollywood solutions." He said the film "offered few, if any, examples of great public schools, while it heralded charter schools as one of the few solutions to the education quagmire."

He asked, "I don't understand; charter schools will fix everything? Even though in the movie it says only one of five charter schools is really very good."

But others credited the film for tackling topics that are normally taboo -- like the power of the country's two largest teacher unions.

"It's a tremendous credit to Guggenheim that he was willing to go down this route -- that I do not think vilified teachers," said Joe Williams, director of Democrats for Education Reform. "He clearly understood the difference between talking about union power and the importance of having great teachers."


Get 'reel' about education failures
Movie on school woes enrages unions

By YOAV GONEN Education Reporter

Last Updated: 6:34 AM, September 17, 2010

 Subscribe in a reader