Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waiting for "Superman"

It was just as appalling as I anticipated...and definitely made me want to go back to teaching in the public school system.  This movie is a call to action, and I certainly hope it is an eye-opener for those who see it.

The Nickelodeon is showing the film through next Wednesday, November 24th.  Tonight's
5:30 showing will be followed by a TalkBack with members of City Year and next Tuesday's 5:30 showing will be followed by a TalkBack with SC Superintendent of Education, Jim Rex.  You should really go see it.

The film didn't offer a panacea for the deepseated ills of our public education system, but it did proffer some ideas--like KIPP School ideals or Harlem Children's Zone and Geoffrey Canada's ideas.  I have read the book Work Hard. Be Nice., about the 2 KIPP School founders, Feinberg and Levin, and it inspired me.  This book made me want to go back to teaching--it made me want to go apply to teach a t a KIPP School.  These schools are working. 

image via here

But, how feasible is it to make the school day longer and the school year longer?  How feasible is it to start teaching students and their parents in a formalized way as soon as they are conceived, as in Canada's "Baby College"?  It will take a lot of convincing to the beaurocrats involved in changing laws and the way the education system works for major changes to be made.

One of the most telling statistics in the film--and the one that should stick with and inspire change for both liberals and conservatives alike--showed how much it costs to support a prisoner in the US for the average prison-stay of 4 years, compared to how much it costs to send a child top a private school for grades 1-12.  It costs $24,000 more to pay for the prison time.  Enough.

Go see the film; let me know what you think.  Take action.  Our children are worth it.

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