The new movie “Waiting For Superman” has unleashed a storm of teacher-bashing across the mainstream media — Oprah, NBC, MSNBC, just to name a few.
Teachers and others have written some very articulate responses, and I thought I’d start collecting the best ones in a “The Best…” list. This list is not just limited to commentary on the movie itself, but also on the associated media events.
I’ll be regularly adding more. If you have written a good piece, or know of one that you think I should add, please leave a comment.
Here are my choices for The Best Posts & Articles About The Teacher-Bashing “Waiting For Superman” Movie:
Grading ‘Waiting for Superman’ by Dana Goldstein, The Nation
Education Nation & Ideological Blindness by Gary Stager
Booker Outclasses Winfrey on Education by David B. Cohen
Katrina Nation: Driving Past Public Schools by Nancy Flanagan
Katrina Nation, Part II: Live-blogging the NBC Teacher Town Hall by Nancy Flanagan
Oprah and her warrior woman, Michelle Rhee by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post
Dear Ms. Winfrey at Change Agency
An inconvenient truthiness by Aaron Pallas
Finding real heroes for ‘Superman’ at The Leading Source
NBC’s Teacher Town Hall – reaction/reflection by Ken Bernstein
What ‘Superman’ got wrong, point by point by Rick Ayers at The Answer Sheet
The elephant that Obama and Lauer ignored: Poverty and student achievement is the headline of a post by Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post. It’s about an interview that Matt Lauer did with President Obama today as part of NBC’s teacher-bashing week coordinated with the release of “Waiting For Superman.” (they say it’s just a coincidence).
“Education Nation: I Should Have Known Better” is a very thoughtful post by Stephen Lazar, a Bronx teacher who was invited to participate in NBC’s Education Nation event. I learned about it from Karen Janowski, who suggests (and I agree) that it’s important to read until its end.
K-12 Education on the Marquee is an excellent post by Walt Gardner on the common errors being made in documentaries about schools.
My only issue with it is that he suggests that parents of English Language Learners might not respond to requests to meet with teachers. I’m not really sure where that comes from, since ELL parents are just as interested in their child’s welfare as any other parent. I’m assuming that he might have meant that some schools might not have the language ability to communicate with monolingual parents. That I can understand. (Walt clarifies what he meant here).
NPR has a good, short interview (audio and transcript) with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. She comments on “Waiting For Superman” and other related events. I think she provides a very good perspective.
NOT Waiting For Superman is a website created by Rethinking Schools that has many related resources.
Teacher Trap: In the world of education, there’s no such thing as a Superman is a good article in The American Prospect.
What I Learned at NBC’s Education Nation Summit is a must-read post by teacher Brian Jones. He participated in one of the panels of NBC’s Education Nation.
“‘Superman’ Offers Mirage, Not A Miracle” is a great op-ed piece in the Sacramento Bee by Walt Gardner.
Fact-checking “Waiting for Superman”: False data and fraudulent claims is a great post by Leonie Haimson. I can’t imagine how much time it took her to investigate some of the film’s more outrageous claims, but I’m sure glad she did.
Feedback and suggestions are welcome.