Taking 'Superman' to school

Source Truthdig

The greatest thing about public school is that it is, in fact, public. Anyone can attend and everyone has the opportunity to achieve. I have been a public school student and educator and I've had the privilege of encountering learners of all kinds: from brilliant artists, math whizzes and persuasive communicators to those who can barely read or need calculators to figure out the answer to 1 x 9. As a result, I think my experience in public education is similar to that of many of my dedicated colleagues across the nation: both highly rewarding and deeply depressing. Unfortunately, none of these experiences were reflected in Davis Guggenheim's new documentary "Waiting for 'Superman.'–Instead we get an appeal to educational reform based on a story about really bad teachers. Teachers who sleep while on the job, teachers who ignore parents who want to be involved, teachers who are chronically late or even abusive to their students. What's more, all of these teachers hold on to their jobs because they've been awarded tenure and are members of unions that fund candidates on both sides of the aisle. The worst of the worst teachers are referred to and ridiculed as "lemons," "turkeys" and "trash."