Saturday, October 2, 2010
Waiting for Superman: Thoughts, Feelings and Next to Dos
I am blogging this morning, full of thoughts, feelings and next dos, after watching and experiencing the film Waiting for Superman last night...with thousands of other people across the U.S. and across the world. Retrospectively, the film is a powerful statement about across-the-board failure of the nation's public education system and how most schools and school systems, urban, and suburban doom the majority of their students to academic failure and lack of opportunity. I and the entire audience were brought to tears, especially, when we had to experience parents and their children's hopes and dreams crushed by school lottery systems with only a few "lucky" winners able to get into better educational programs.
Before that however, the film did a good job of providing an excellent overview and insight on the difference a good teacher versus a bad teacher can make. The teacher unions "brand" also did not fare too well because the film showed how teacher's unions and tenure system policy and contracts have tended to guarantee job security and a paycheck, even though some teachers aren't even doing their job. Some amazing "undercover" footage is included in the film that I am sure makes teacher's union officials cringe. Charter schools presented in such a glowing, contrasting way, by focusing on some of the nation's best, will get public school systems and teacher's unions thinking about how to re-position themselves policy-wise and contract-wise.
So after all is said and felt about the film, what is there to be done about the situation? What I am walking away with is how powerful and effective good media can be used to facilitate broad-based social change starting with what's going on...right here in our own communities and state....and we can produce some of this media ourselves. I do media.. so I intend to outreach to the organization who paid for the screening, Stand for Children about doing some post-viewing grassroots television for them that can facilitate even more positive social movement.
What made me really feel good, is that I had already been to a grassroots community meeting earlier this week where powerful regional leadership was already in place and where action agendas were already being laid out. One stakeholder even had handout sheets on what each stakeholder: parent, teacher, student, principal, superintendent, concerned citizen could do to fix education... after the film Waiting for Superman.. has come and gone.
Wow, how hopeful I am, even after being brought to tears by this excellent film that most likely will be too overwhelming for many. Others may only just get angry, just putting out more negative energy. The point, however, was that we all need to come together to fix education for all of us.
Call me and let's connect about facilitating positive educational change.. and not "waiting for superman" in order to have that happen. What's really new is that we can now create our own grassroots, community-based learning channel to further educate learning stakeholders and we don't need a huge film budget to do it... See my New World Television Channel page and What is GoogleTV? for more info.