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Thread: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education system

  1. #1
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    "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education system

    I was curious if anyone plans to see this documentary, and what your thoughts on education reform are.

    "Waiting For Superman" premiers in many large cities this Friday. If you order your ticket via their website (Waiting For "Superman" | Trailer & Official Movie Site | Pledge Now), $15 will be donated to the school of your choice.

    The movie chronicles the sorry state of our education system, and puts the blame squarely where it belongs: The teachers unions and school boards that refuse to accept any innovation in education. It also features interviews with a number of prominent reformists, including Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and Bill Gates.

    As a DC resident, I'm a big fan of Michelle Rhee and everything she has done to improve DC's public schools. By firing incompetent teachers and confronting the teachers unions, she managed to raise DC's proficiency scores from 29% to 43% in only three years. That's why I was so sad when Adrian Fenty lost his mayoral reelection bid this past Tuesday; he has given Rhee his unqualified support. I hope that the new mayor will keep Michelle Rhee, but I fear that he will not.

    I'm glad that Obama and Arne Duncan have decided to confront the teachers' unions head-on. Race To The Top is a great new federal program buried in the economic stimulus bill, that rewards the states most willing to innovate in education. It will encourage states to allow merit pay and charter schools.

    What are your thoughts on education reform?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 09-21-10 at 05:37 AM.
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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    Probably not, I am hard of hearing, but the movie volume is so high that it is painful. Televising is bad enough with their "cool" idea of having the actors whisper all the time.
    Plus ,I only watch M Moore movies...
    No one man or group should take the "blame".
    Its all of us.
    The libs blame the board, the cons blame the unions.
    We need men in this country who play not the blame games, but just do the right thing.

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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post

    What are your thoughts on education reform?
    My first thought is that he song "Waiting for Superman" by The Flaming Lips is one of my favorite songs by any band in any period ever.

    Having dispensed with that, I'd say the biggest failing of our educational system isthe one size fits all approach. It fails the gifted students, especially, as it teaches at such a low level that too many bright, inquisitive children gets bored, tune out and become troublesome.
    Last edited by Gardener; 09-21-10 at 10:30 PM.
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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardener View Post
    My first thought is that he song "Waiting for Superman" by The Flaming Lips is one of my favorite songs by any band in any period ever.

    Having dispensed with that, I'd say the biggest failing of our educational system isthe one size fits all approach. It fails the gifted students, especially, as it teaches at such a low level that too many bright, inquisitive children gets bored, tune out and become troublesome.
    Its learning for the sake of learning, its not an enriching, rewarding, independent exploration into topics of interest, but rather a rote driven generalized force feeding of standardized mediocrity.

    edit: and while we are expounding on our education system, it is far to driven by the whims of politicians who although being able to coast into office via charisma are way to selectively educated (if at all) to determine curriculum
    Last edited by marduc; 09-21-10 at 11:06 PM.
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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    It sounds like it's making an important argument from a perspective I'd probably agree with, but I really have a hard time getting excited for advocacy films. I'm glad someone made it though.
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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    Some of the problem is that many "innovations" are either unproven or have empirical evidence that is muddy or shows it doesn't work. Recent studies on the utility of merit-pay schemes shows that the ones being tested do not have the desired effect. Over a three year period, teachers participated in a pilot programme wherein teachers would get bonuses and higher pay scales tied to student performance on standardized tests. The control group teachers did not perform differently than their peers. The merit pay scheme specifically advised by the Dept. of Ed doesn't work.

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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    In Florida, charter schools don't measure up when compared to district schools:


    The state has 334 charter schools, up more than 10 percent
    from the 2004–05 school year.

    • Nearly 1 out of 11 public schools is a charter school.
    • Nearly 3.5 percent of students attend a charter school.
    Over half of all charter school students are pre-K and
    elementary school-age children.

    In the 2004-05 school year, charter schools served a student
    population demographically similar to district schools: 52
    percent of children enrolled in charter schools are children of
    color, compared to 51 percent in district schools.

    Six percent of charter schools are conversions from district
    schools.

    Just over 50 percent of charter schools received grades of A
    or B under the state accountability system in 2005, compared
    to 66 percent of district schools. Twenty-six percent of charter
    schools received a D or an F, compared to only 11 percent of
    district schools.

    As of January 2006, 62 charter schools have been closed,
    more than 15 percent of all the charter schools that had been
    opened. (Nationally, the rate is closer to seven percent.) More
    than a third of the charter schools closures in Florida have been
    due to financial mismanagement. The other major reasons
    include lack of enrollment and school governance issues.

    In the 2005-06 school year, 69 percent of charter applicants
    whose district denied their application appealed their case to
    the State Board. In 53 percent of those cases, the State Board
    ruled on behalf of the charter schools.

    Charter schools in the state are small: The average charter
    elementary school enrolls 292 students, compared to 674
    students in the average district elementary school. Seventy
    percent of charter schools enroll fewer than 300 students.
    One‑third enroll fewer than 100 students.

    During fiscal year 2003, charter schools received 11.4 percent
    less funding than district schools: $7,831 vs. $6,936 per pupil.

    Seventy-six percent of charter school funding comes from the
    state, compared to 45 percent of district funding. Forty-three
    percent of charter schools are not eligible for state capital
    outlay funds.

    Sources: J. Allen, and M. Looney, Charter School Closures: The Opportunity for
    Accountability, The Center for Education Reform, October, 2002; Meagan
    Batdorff, Chester E. Finn, Bryan Hassel, Larry Maloney, Eric Osberg, Sheree
    Speakman, and Michelle Terrell, Charter School Funding: Inequity’s Next Frontier,
    Thomas B. Fordham Institute, August, 2005.

    This is a sidebar from Florida Charter School Report:
    http://www.educationsector.org/usr_d...ool_Report.pdf

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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    Think about it this way....If you were a politician and had a choice between an educated, informed electorate, or an uneducated, propagandized electorate, which would you choose?
    If you are a bonafied nice guy politician who wants to do what is right by the country, you might choose the former. If you are a sleazeball, you probably want the latter...
    Oracle of Utah
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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    All of my family went to a privet shcool except me in dundee high shcool where William wallace

    went our great leader,small classes of 17,all of my doctors are from there,and english is 80% pass,u cant get any better than that.

    kind regards mikeey

  10. #10
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    Re: "Waiting For Superman" - a documentary about the sorry state of our education sys

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    Probably not, I am hard of hearing, but the movie volume is so high that it is painful. Televising is bad enough with their "cool" idea of having the actors whisper all the time.
    Nearly all movies and tv shows have Closed Captions you can turn on. DVDs have subtitles.

    I have a minor hearing problem as well, and that's how I watch tv. In fact, it's the only way I watch tv.

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