The film Waiting for Superman opens this weekend in many parts of the county. Directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), the film has sparked a national conversation about public education fanned by Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and major media coverage (an NBC special and Time magazine features included).
Superman tells the stories of five urban children hoping to get into charter schools through lotteries. It weaves in fear, hope, despair and glimpses of inspirational educational opportunities. Accompanied by a book and well-funded promotional campaign (underwritten by the Broad, Gates and Fisher foundations, major charter school backers), the film has teachers and public school leaders anxious to see how their communities react. While Guggenheim takes on teachers unions in the film and promotes charter schools as the great hope for children, he has made it clear in interviews that all adults must engage in supporting schools.
We agree with Marian Wright Edelman, leader of the Children’s Defense Fund:
Making sure that a quality education is available to every child in our country — and is not just a privilege for a few — is indeed one of the great battles of our time. — Huffington Post
School “choice” is not an option for most children in this country, nor should that be their “lifeboat”. It is our job to ensure that all children have an outstanding neighborhood public school. This is our collective responsibility. Together, we are Superman.
The film opens locally in mid-October. Stay tuned for news about a special benefit showing and ways to support your local schools.