Waiting for Superman
You'd think that that public television would support public education, but you'd be wrong. The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has gotten in bed with the billionaires and conservatives who want to privatize our public schools.
The reform public relations spin machine has struggled recently as more families reject top-down micromanaging of their children's schools. Common Core standards were originally sold as a corrective to the rote instruction encouraged by NCLB. Now Common Core is promising "tests worth teaching to."
The Waiting for Superman director discusses what it takes to be an effective teacher today and his hopes for his children. "It would be the happiest day of my life," says Guggenheim, "if my son or daughter came to me and said, 'Dad, I want to be a teacher.'"
Here's my brutally harsh interrogation of my better writing half whose work includes the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting For Superman and It Might Get Loud.
Aside from the results themselves, what is most distressing is that the United States has been preoccupied with the decline in its education standards and performance for well over a half century.
There was no DC miracle. Browbeating students and teachers into raising scores on state tests only makes them better at taking state tests, and reforming our schools in hopes of replicating an illusion is a petty crime against humanity.
You might not know how to play chess. Or you might think chess is boring. But that shouldn't stop you from seeing a documentary about some special middle school kids who are pretty good competitive chess players and anything but boring.