Saturday, February 19, 2011
Waiting for Superman
I watched the documentary movie, “Waiting for Superman,” last night. It's an excellent treatment of what’s wrong with public education and some of the solutions that are emerging. The United States used to be a leader in public education but we have fallen behind numerous developed countries. One particular fact mentioned struck me. When kids drop out of school they are more likely to commit crimes and go to prison. The cost of incarcerating someone in prison for four years is more that the cost of twelve years of private school education. Another comment in the film was that kids in the middle get hurt more. I’ve seen this. The top students have gifted, advanced placement and International Baccalaureate programs, and the bottom students often have remedial or special education types of programs, but the kids in the middle often get left behind. The main theme of the documentary is that the problem is the adults—too much fighting over turf and pet programs rather than doing what’s right for the kids. Some of the successful charter programs in the country provide excellent teachers, forward thinking leadership and longer school time (more hours during the day and more days of education during the year). I recommend watching this documentary.