According to Rick Ayers in a blog post on The Answer Sheet (a fantastic daily must-read), the filmmakers got it wrong in Waiting for Superman.
Here is his list, and you can check out his full explanations at the source.
- Waiting for Superman says that lack of money is not the problem in education.
- Waiting for Superman implies that standardized testing is a reasonable way to assess student progress.
- Waiting for Superman ignores overall problems of poverty.
- Waiting for Superman says teachers’ unions are the problem.
- Waiting for Superman says teacher education is useless.
- Waiting for Superman decries tenure as a drag on teacher improvement.
- Waiting for Superman says charter schools allow choice and better educational innovation.
- Waiting for Superman glorifies lotteries for admission to highly selective and subsidized charter schools as evidence of the need for more of them.
- Waiting for Superman says competition is the best way to improve learning.
- Waiting for Superman says good teachers are key to successful education. We agree. But Waiting for Superman only contributes to the teacher-bashing culture which discourages talented college graduates from considering teaching and drives people out of the profession.
- Waiting for Superman says “we’re not producing large numbers of scientists and doctors in this country anymore. . . This means we are not only less educated, but also less economically competitive.”
- Waiting for Superman promotes a nutty theory of learning which claims that teaching is a matter of pouring information into children’s heads.
- Waiting for Superman promotes the idea that we are in a dire war for US dominance in the world.
- Waiting for Superman says federal “Race to the Top” education funds are being focused to support students who are not being served in other ways.
- Waiting for Superman suggests that teacher improvement is a matter of increased control and discipline over teachers.
- Waiting for Superman proposes a reform “solution” that exploits the feminization of the field of teaching; it proposes that teachers just need a few good men with hedge funds (plus D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee with a broom) to come to the rescue.
Please read the full article. It details the reasons educators become frustrated with the slanted debate and preconceived agendas of the people in power. Education is being taken over by businessmen and profiteers, and the media war is only beginning.