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Waiting for Superman Movie Review

Updated on March 10, 2011

              In the movie Waiting For Superman, Davis Guggenheim (director) explores the conflict that is arising in the education of America and the impact it is having on the youth today. More and more turmoil and politics seem to be creeping up and the focus on educational needs is decreasing in importance. Guggenheim showed quite vividly how the lack of care in our education system and at home leads to less graduates and more dropouts, which leads to a smaller success rate in the economy. The movie brought out how other countries are ahead of the United States in all other areas except one: confidence. Confidence should be the lowest percentage for the nation if we are failing. Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada portray two of the protagonists, dedicating their lives to bettering the learning system for kids today. For them, it is not easy. Rhee, currently in disagreement with Teachers Unions, makes a very good argument about tenure, a law in which after two years teachers have reserved the right to teach forever no matter their ability. If a teacher does not do their job or goes against policy, should they be allowed to keep their job? It seems as though teachers who do obtain tenure abuse their rights. If people such as factory workers or other lower class workers can be fired due to incompetence, why not teachers? What makes the teachers so important that they get this royalty? What about the kids? Are they not important as well? Several youths were shown in the movie, all having the potential and motivation to succeed. Some are in public school, destined to go to a failing high school. Their fate to receive a better education is left in the hands of luck, where more prominent schools gamble to pick their future students. Very few spots are vacant, and the children who lose are left crying and hopeless. Only one received the joy in being accepted and not having to worry anymore. For the other children whose parents are working extra jobs to pay for private education, the chance for them is still very low to get into a successful school. Even the private education has its downfalls when money comes into play. The movie displays this when one of the little girls introduced is unable to graduate with her class due to a small shortage in money for tuition. The school punished her for something that she was not at fault for. Even though this little girl is attending this private institution now, her chances are slim to none to receive a spot in the chance-of-the-luck drawing schools. Students should not be punished like this, especially if they have the skills and drive to lead to success. Guggenheim showed how people just do not want to step up to the plate and take the challenge in turning around this system. Very few people are actually taking the time to do it. Geoffrey Canada has made much progress in his own schools, and studies prove that these schools are succeeding. If adults would take the time to slow down, cut out the politics, and set aside some time and interest for the youths of America, then perhaps something, even a small something, could be accomplished. Guggenheim brings out many more fascinating arguments and statistics that affect this system today. The question is when will it be saved, and who will save it? Will you?

           The movie was interesting in its own way. There were a lot of conflicts and arguments, creating drama to almost keep you on the edge of your seat. Unfair situations, too many to count, were presented throughout the entire movie, and it was heartbreaking to see the tears on these children’s faces. The movie made obvious how few people there are in the world truly dedicated to making it a better place. With the help of people like Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada, we can take small steps and keep the education system from falling to pieces completely.


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