Waiting for Superman
Davis Guggenheim, Director and co-writer
This documentary stakes a basic premise – that for all the problems the US’s public schools have, they are fixable, and the solution is to have great, high-paid teachers.
The teacher’s union, however, clings to the past and wants to remain the same – meaning most teachers get tenure after two years. So even if they are terrible teachers, they stay.
And the kids suffer.
While the movie did speak to parents getting involved with their kid’s schoolwork and so on, that was the main take-away.
It’d be interesting to have discussion about this with a teacher. Get the other side of the story – because the movie did show charter schools that didn’t have union contracts (or different ones; not sure) that allowed a bad teacher to be replaced. So it’s not like this is just a theory; there are schools in poor areas like Harlem that are turning out huge number of college-bound graduates.
Very interesting flick; almost two hours long and I really didn’t want it to end. Watch; discuss; do something about it.
I was updating my Portfolio page – which lists some work I’ve done behind firewalls and so on – and I was struck by how many sites I’ve worked on that have either totally changed (different language, but still ecommerce…) or are just gone.
I did a quick site for a friend of a friend several years ago – just your basic “I exist” site (home page, about us, contact us, what I do etc), and I now see that the woman has turned the site into a WordPress blog (not a bad idea) that hasn’t been updated for almost two years. Even if she was still blogging, my work on the site is gone. Down the rabbit hole.
I realize I’ve been building web sites for over a decade, and have worked at a couple of start-ups (one that’s out of business), so that’s to be expected, but still…
To be fair, I’ve contributed to this web rot – my Geistlinger.com site moved from Cold Fusion to PHP, so those old pages don’t even exist anymore (on a different host). Ditto with this blog – was on Blogger, but when Blogger took away FTP publishing (which I used to host the pages on my own site), I installed WordPress and now the pages are served up dynamically – and are .php, not .html.
Again, Google confusion.