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Superman Won't Fix It. Will We? (How Schools Fail 3)

The school debate goes on. This week another documentary reached movie theaters in the US: Waiting for Superman. It is directed by Davis Guggenheim who was also in the chair for Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

The new movie focuses on the drop out problem in the United States. It talks about kids in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC who want to learn but don't get a chance because their neighborhood school is lousy; about parents who struggle for their kids and teachers who don't; about public school administrators who want to turn things around but run up against the walls of the unions; about a handful of charter schools and teachers which make a difference because they care.

In the end we are reminded that there will be no Superman to fix the problem (president after president promised to do so) but that we can act. We can volunteer for our local school, mentor a child, donate, let our voice be heard at school board meetings and in mailings to our political representatives. Will we?

Comments

Reese said…
Hi Christina,

I read your posts on "How Schools Fail" with much interest and fascination.

Your sharing reminds me of how much I loathed school. How much I hated its text-book based and exam driven system, particularly where I am from. I could only recall sleeping through the classes and some fun bullying the teachers moments.

For the longest time, schools to me, it's more like a social platform for children to interact and to be disciplined so that they accomplish what the system has set out for them to fulfill. A necessity to enter university.

It is eye-opening to learn that schools in Austria or Ireland are not any different, where memorisation and exams become the mechanism of learning. It seems that there is a similar lack in every education system after all.

In my opinion, each of us thrive in different learning environment and school can only achieve this much. Too many factors are in play resulting to how schools function. So I am all for what you & Debi say, that learning should always start from the family. Ultimately, it goes back to value of life. For an individual to grasp the importance of learning, I believe that little bit of hardship & independence help.

My boyfriend & I always joked that when one day we have kids, we will let them travel around (on their own money) and learn different life skills from people. Schools come second:)

But yes, since we see the gap in the education system, we need to voice it out and press for it to change.

Thank you for always challenging us to think and to take action if necessary.

I look forward to your next observation.

Reese
debi said…
Reese,
Judging by your blog, I have no doubt you and your boyfriend will encourage your future children in the most constructive ways to be good students and citizens. I wish all parents would do so.

Christina,
Another good post. I hope American schools never lose the "figure it out" aspect - but, unfortunately, it's a definite possibility.

debi
Reese and Debi,

Thank you! Exposure to a different culture is a wonderful teacher. Our daughter learned more from living in another country for two years than any school or we could have taught her.
Reese said…
Christina & Debi,

I am gaining early exposure of parenting skills from you (across the pond style:)

Thanks,
Reese

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