Oct 11, 2010
“Waiting for Superman” is a new documentary film that is being lauded as a path-breaking exposé of the problems with public schools in this country, and as a vehicle to pretend that some hard-working, school “reform” experts, have the solutions. The movie follows five students as they try to get a better education in cities like Harlem, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Their personal stories are heart-wrenching. They have hard working families, and big dreams. But their public schools offer few good prospects, and private schools are too expensive.
The movie decries the low graduation rates in many working class public high schools. And it has charts that show that public school funding has continually gone up, and so concludes that money must not be the problem.
So if it’s not money, what is it? The movie accuses the dead wood, “bad” teachers, protected by outworn and obsolete teachers’ unions, as standing in the way of improving education.
And along come the Supermen – so-called education reformers who can show you model charter schools that “work” because the teachers there care.
But the movie is remarkable for the “facts” it doesn’t show: how public money has been handed over to corporations and banks, resulting in public schools closing, students being jammed into overcrowded classrooms, with no equipment, books, or sometimes, not even toilet paper. It doesn’t show how so-called top leaders in education summits are primarily CEOs and charter school operators, as well as Wall Street “Investment” bankers and representatives from foundations pushing the agendas of billionaires like Bill Gates and Eli Broad.
All children deserve a good education. But this film in fact is a propaganda piece for the very things that today are helping to destroy public education. It praises a few select charter schools without telling the truth about the vast majority of charter schools – that they do as bad a job – or worse, than the regular public schools.
The film’s hidden agenda advances the cause of robbing the public school funds of the entire country to put into the hands of wealthy interests who dare to pretend they care about children.