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 NotWaitingforSuperman.org, a project of Rethinking Schools.