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Waiting For Superman Review

Updated on July 7, 2015

A Look At Public Education in America

Waiting For Superman is a 2010 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim and produced Lesley Chilcott. The film follows five children (Anthony, Bianca, Daisy, Francisco, and Emily who is shown in the photo to the left) through the pitfalls of public education in America.

The controversial film has stirred up debate about America's education system and the need for reform. I think most people can agree that all kids deserve a great education....the question is how to achieve that goal. Love it or hate it, this movie should inspire all of us to at least start talking about this pressing issue and better yet, get us to take action with the belief that "Together We Can Fix Education."

Waiting For Superman - The Official Movie Trailer

Movie Poll

Have You Seen Waiting For Superman?

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Is The Current System Broken...

How Do You Feel About The Movie's Portrayal of America's Education System?

Buy Waiting For Superman from Amazon

Waiting for "Superman"
Waiting for "Superman"

In a documentary sure to get parents and teachers talking--and arguing--An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim offers an eye-opening overview of America's ailing educational system.

 

About The Kids in the Movie

Waiting For Superman follows the heart-breaking stories of 5 children who are struggling to get an education in America. If you haven't seen the movie, read this info about the children and see the movie to see how they fare in the current system that depends all too often on lotteries to determine the future of a child.

Anthony (shown in the photo) is a hard-working 5th grader who lives with his grandmother in a tough Washington D.C neighborhood. He has struggled with school over the years, but recently, thanks to a good teacher, has turned it around and has done well. Unfortunately, the middle school that Anthony is slated to attend next year regularly puts students 2 to 3 years behind by the time they move on to high school. In the hopes of finding a way out, Anthony is one of 61 students who applied for 24 slots at SEED charter school where 9 out of 10 students go on to attend college one day. His chances of getting into seed are less than 50%.

Bianca is a kindergartner that lives in Harlem with her single mother. Costly tuition prevents Bianca's mother from continuing to send her to a private Catholic school that costs about $500 per month. Therefore, Bianca (along with 767 other students) has registered for one of the 35 spots available at a free charter school called Harlem success academy. For those of you that like statistics, that means Bianca has less than a 5% chance of getting in.

Daisy is a 5th grader that lives with her parents in East L.A. She has big dreams of one day becoming a doctor, but the public school in her neighborhood is one of the worst schools in Los Angeles graduating only 6 out of 10 students. Like many parents, hers can not afford to send her to a private school. Fortunately, Daisy lives just down the street from one of the best performing schools called KIPP LA Academy. Unfortunately, KIPP has only 10 slots available this year and Daisy is one of 135 applicants meaning Daisy has a less than 15% chance of getting in.

Francisco is a 1st grader that lives with his mother in the Bronx. Francisco's mother is an exemplary parent who enrolls him in after school programs, studies with him every night, and has tried to get him into 7 local charter schools (denied admission seven times). This year she has decided to go outside her local area which would mean a 45 minute commute each direction to get Francisco into one of the best charter schools in the area - Harlem Success Academy. Unfortunately, Francisco is one of 792 applicants vying for 40 spots. He has less than a 5% chance of being chosen.

Emily is an 8th grader that lives in an affluent neighborhood in Silicon Valley. Her situation is different than the other students in the movie. Her high school is great for students who are placed on the college track, but not necessarily so great for the kids placed on the remedial track like her. She wants to go to Summit Prep where there is no track system, but she is one of 455 applicants vying for 110 spots so she has less than a 25% chance of getting in.


Sundance Film Festival Clips - Waiting For Superman Won The Audience Award at Sundance

Davis Guggenheim Talks About The Movie - Hear From The Director

The director Davis Guggenheim tells us what inspired him to make the movie. He also talks about the great teachers that touched his life and the fact that every kid in America deserves a great education.

Education Poll

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting a good education in the U.S.?

See results

Two Sides To Every Story

Great journalists have researched, watched, and written opinions about the movie so rather than regurgitating their information, I'm going to share some of my favorite resources that provide both the facts and flaws of the Waiting For Superman movie.

What is all the fuss about.....

Does America's Education System Really Need To Be Fixed?

Call To Action!

Join The Movement Today!

Together We Can Fix Education

Find out what you can do to help today by visiting the Waiting For Superman Movement Website today! If you visit the site, you'll see a breakdown of what you can do as an educator, parent, or individual. Some things they recommend doing are:

  • Pledge To See The Movie
  • Write Your Governor To Demand World Class Education Standards
  • Help Your Local School By Calling & Asking What They Need (e.g. volunteers)
  • Attend A Local School Board Meeting
  • Share The Info With Friends via e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook
  • Talk To & Help Your Kids Teachers
  • Become Proactive in your Child's Education
  • Do What's Best & Morally Right For Kids (not for adults)

New York Post's Review - A Negative Movie Opinion

Join The Discussion! - What do you think about Waiting For Superman

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    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      Just saw the movie and this is an excellent review. You present the facts of the movie and invite lots of interaction. I like also that you outline several ways people can take action. ** Blessed by a SquidAngel **

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 7 years ago

      Dido with Kimmer14. Parents need to take notice. It has to start there. Get involved more with PTA and less with trying to run your child around to all those games, etc.

    • kimmer1491 profile image

      Kim 7 years ago from Big Lake, MN

      I hope this movie makes more people sit up and take notice before it's too late!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 7 years ago

      I've never heard of the movie yet but I think it's great that you're bringing light to the situation at hand. My sister taught kindergarten at an inner-city public school in a huge city and she's first to witness that there is a lot to be done even at an early age with education and keeping American kids educated and giving everyone equal opportunity at that. Great lens, you're onto something here.