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Daily Dose Pick: Waiting for ‘Superman’

Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, examines the failings of the US education system in his controversial and poignant documentary Waiting for “Superman.”

Interweaving the narratives of five children with statistics and interviews with education reformers, the film illustrates the more nimble nature of charter schools that can hire non-union teachers and design their own curriculum. But good charter schools, like KIPP, are difficult to get into, and in the interest of fairness, acceptance rests on a cruel lottery system.


Waiting for “Superman” trailer

“Superman” follows the five children through this process, while basically declaring that charter schools are good and teacher’s unions are bad — which prompted Oprah to donate $6 million to this new breed of public schools. Days after her announcement, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared on her show and pledged to donate $100 million to support public schools in Newark, New Jersey.

Recently released on DVD, each copy of Waiting for “Superman” includes a $25 gift card good toward funding any local classroom project listed with DonorsChoose.org. People are also being encouraged to host house parties for a big kickoff event on February 25.

And while “Superman” was snubbed by the Academy, its theme song, “Shine”, performed and written by John Legend, recently picked up a Grammy for best R&B song.

Visit the film’s official website, become a fan on Facebook, watch an interview with Davis Guggenheim, check out Oprah’s Lessons in Education website, read AFT President Randi Weingarten’s reaction, see the NEA’s response, and buythe DVD.

Click through below for a gallery of images and videos from the film.


Photo credit: Wiley Foster
Anthony in Waiting for “Superman”
© 2010 Public Education Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

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