Having worked in educational publishing for the last 8 years, we consider ourselves a part of the education community and its discussions, though we are definitely skimming the outskirts of where all the hard-fought day-to-day action takes place. And while we would never profess to be experts on the intricacies of the US public education system, our work does afford us the opportunity to meet and hear from a wide-range of those in the field of education — from teachers, consultants, and specialists, to principals, superintendants, and state officials.

We also try to absorb as much as we can from reading about people who are working to find new formulas for change in our education system. People like Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the DC Public School system; and Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York (also see Kevin’s recent post on Salman Khan). So it was with great interest that we heard about the documentary, Waiting for Superman, that not only featured both of these individuals, but was attempting to highlight some of the key issues that are currently plaguing the health and overall improvement of US public education.
We went to see the movie in theatres when it was released back in October 2010...and despite it addressing what we feel is a critical issue for the country, we were the only ones in the theatre (and it was a large theatre)! The movie does a good job of demonstrating some of the major problems that are hurting the system and while some may say it is biased (we realize that it does not give voice to the many hard working teachers who do do good work and sacrifice so much of themselves on a daily basis), we believe that many of the facts presented, in particular about tenure and the difficulties of replacing poor performing teachers, are topics that cannot and should not be ignored.

If you are interested in the state of US public education in any shape or form, be it because you have school-aged children, you are an educator, or you just care about the future of the system, we highly recommend you watch Waiting for Superman. Whether you agree with its premise or not, it at least opens up the discussion and debate of some very important issues that need to be resolved if we are to improve the future prospects of US education and ultimately, the nation.

Some Useful/Interesting and Related Links:
(If you do watch the film, or have already seen it, please definitely share your thoughts and opinions with us here. We would love to hear your point of view!)

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