Waiting for Superman does one thing right above all else: it gets a conversation going. Then something else has to matter, which is how much the people who get to talking really know about the education system in America, which has been making students fall behind compared to others throughout the world (i.e. USA ranks 25th among students for math and reading, albeit we’re #1 when it comes to confidence! yey we’re #1!) David Guggenheim’s documentary shifts between personal stories of (mostly) inner-city kids whose parents want their kids to do well but are doubtful for good reason about whether their kids will get the fair chance, and try ultimately to get them into charter-school systems that rely on a lottery system of picking who gets in and who doesn’t. Read more
I’m appearing today on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about an important new film that I think everyone should see. It’s called “Waiting for ‘Superman.'” The film’s depiction of the state of America’s public education system is something people won’t quickly forget. In fact, I think it’s the kind of movie that is powerful enough to influence — and hopefully even change — the public consciousness about our approach to education.
There’s no question that the quality of our education system helped to make America great. But today, many of our public schools are failing. Only one-third of high school students are prepared for college when they graduate. And half of minority students drop out of high school altogether. Read more
In a dusty village in Iran, a man wants to be rid of his wife, Soraya, so he can marry his mistress (and avoid alimony). So, to cover up his own adulteries, he accuses his blameless spouse of infidelity.
Outraged, she tries to bring her own charges. The mayor informs her that different standards apply. Her husband can stand mute and be presumed blameless, but as a woman, she has to prove she didn’t do it.
“So, all women are guilty and all men are innocent,” her aunt Zahra bitterly observes.
Something like that. Read more