I recently saw the documentary film, “Waiting for ‘Superman'”. First thing I will say is, this movie knocked me off my feet. Being in the education field, I had an idea about how bad the public school system is. This film showed me that what I thought I knew, is not half of it.
The movie follows several young students who are entering a lottery system in attempts to have a spot at a better school. I would like to be able to express how depressing each of the situations are for the students but my blog will not give it justice. Nothing will show you just how much these students, who WANT a better education, have the odds stacked against them except for actually viewing the film.
This film touches on several hot topics in the education industry. The film touches on the subject of tenure. Tenure, for those who do not know, essentially guarantees teachers’ jobs if they have worked for a certain number of years. School districts find it extremely hard to fire these teachers. There is not any type of performance evaluation that will lead to them being let go. Instead, they are placed in “rubber rooms”. These rooms are where teachers, whose performances are not very good, are placed and they essentially do nothing for an entire workday and get paid. Some teachers have been there for years! There are so many of these teachers who are stuck in these rooms while the process to fire them take an excruciatingly long time, that the rooms are filled with $30 million worth of teachers salaries. That is absurd. While teacher unions are a huge part in this, it is absolutely awful that we are willing to keep these teachers employed when we all want the best for our children.
On that note, it is funny that when funding gets cut to the state, the first thing to go, usually, is funding for the education system. We want the best for our children, we want to BE the best in reference to other countries and our ranking in academic performance, yet we are willing to make first cuts to what we deem as so important to us.
I would like to go into more detail, but I want to give everyone just enough to hopefully make you go out and see it. I want you to form your own opinions. I will say though, they show the teacher unions in such a negative light, I wish they would have given a better unbiased perspective of the union and union leaders.
I urge you to out and see the film. I also urge you support education. Support those children that we want to run our country one day.