Unsurprising Raves for ‘Waiting for Superman’–a Big-Screen Version of Media’s Education Spin

The media accolades that have greeted the new documentary Waiting for Superman confirm what FAIR documented in the September issue of Extra!–that the corporate media debate over education “reform” is heavily tilted in the direction of those who bash teachers’ unions, cheer the White House’s Race to the Top grants and charter schools, and lionize “reformers” like D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee.

Dana Goldstein’s review of the film in the Nation (9/23/10) is worth reading. As she puts it right at the beginning:

Here’s what you see in Waiting for Superman, the new documentary that celebrates the charter school movement while blaming teachers unions for much of what ails American education: working- and middle-class parents desperate to get their charming, healthy, well-behaved children into successful public charter schools.

Here’s what you don’t see: the four out of five charters that are no better, on average, than traditional neighborhood public schools (and are sometimes much worse); charter school teachers, like those at the Green Dot schools in Los Angeles, who are unionized and like it that way; and noncharter neighborhood public schools, like PS 83 in East Harlem and the George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, that are nationally recognized for successfully educating poor children.

More organizing around the film is taking place at, a project of Rethinking Schools.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.