Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Written by
Sundance Film Festival
There is a scene in which Bianca, one of the little girls, is reading from a book about someone taking apples and bringing them into the city to sell. The book she is reading is called "The Giving Tree" and was written by Shel Silverstein. See more »
Checking a few reviews, I noticed that the point of this documentary film was not understood by some people. I hope that is not true of all viewers. Of course, not many of us in the USA are ever going to see this movie. In my area, 20 miles outside Washington DC, where a good part of the movie takes place, in their school system, the movie was showing in only two theaters. One a large, excellent multiplex and another small theater that seems to pick up movies usually not shown by the big theaters. I guess there were SIX of us in the big theater last Friday, October 22, 2010. Check out the box office statistics here and you will see the trend is UP from very few patrons to start with, although my guess is that the movie will go to DVD soon, never to be seen by many people.
Well, that might be an indication of how much we really care about children in this country. Especially about their education that is so lousy in much of the United States, not just in the giant urban centers, often surrounded by nice suburbs with nice schools we think are doing their job. Maybe most people just do not give a darn.
If nothing else, the film makes the point that it is a systematic failure of public education that we are seeing. Not a failure of individual teachers or poor neighborhoods, unfit parents, rebellious students, drugs or lack of funds. Further, the failures rest on the heads of ADULTS. That is all of us, folks.
The film maker wants you to see that, even with the best of intentions and plenty of money, plus the highest level backing (every President since Ike), we still have not found the courage and stamina to bring our students up to the very highest standard of education, be it in math or music, science or soldering.
We need to be sure every student in public schools graduates from high school prepared for life in this world. We are not doing this now and the future of the country really does depend on this one variable.
In this day and age education can prepare everyone for a job of one sort or another, be it mother or father or President of the USA. However, without that education it will be mighty hard to live a decent life and all the problems we see now in our civilization are going to be that much harder to deal with.
Please go see the movie and talk to all your friends and family about it. This movie should be shown in every little town and every city neighborhood in the USA.
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