School Choice & Charters

Can ‘Superman’ Save Teachers?

By Anthony Rebora — September 28, 2010 1 min read

In a review of “Waiting for Superman,” Time‘s Richard Corliss defends director Davis Guggenheim from the ire of public school teachers:

But a documentary movie is not a dry treatise; certainly this one isn't. Guggenheim wants to start conversations, debates, elevated arguments--to get people thinking about a crucial problem whose solution has eluded Presidents and parents of the past half-century.

In a similar vein, Dan Brown, who teaches at one of the successful charter schools featured in the film, describes some of the practices that make the school work—the main take-away being that the administration gives its teachers a great deal of autonomy and support.

Pivoting off Brown’s post, Bill Ferriter points out the apparent irony, from a policy-making point of view:

We're so willing to celebrate charter schools but we're unable--or unwilling--to ensure that public school teachers have the same kinds of working conditions and opportunities. How does THAT make sense?

Meanwhile, after seeing just the preview of “Waiting for Superman,” a “seething” Cindi Rigsbee urges public school teachers to set the record straight:

Let's make our own movies. Grab a video camera and record a success story, a student talking about the public school experience that kept him in school, another talking about the teacher who made a difference. Let's edit all the clips together and make our own movie - Superman is HERE. I have my camera ready? Do you?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.