Waiting for "SUPERMAN": How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools (Participant Guide Media)

Waiting for "SUPERMAN": How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools (Participant Guide Media)

Karl Weber

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1586489275

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Each book includes a $15 gift card from DonorsChoose.org to give to a classroom in need.
The American public school system is in crisis, failing millions of students, producing as many drop-outs as graduates, and threatening our economic future. By 2020, the United States will have 123 million high-skill jobs to fill—and fewer than 50 million Americans qualified to fill them.
Educators, parents, political leaders, business people, and concerned citizens are determined to save our educational system. Waiting for "Superman" offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and more.
Waiting for "Superman" is an inspiring call for reform and includes special chapters that provide resources, ideas, and hands-on suggestions for improving the schools in your own community as well as throughout the nation.

For parents, teachers, and concerned citizens alike, Waiting for "Superman" is an essential guide to the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing America’s schools.

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to speak to the darker voices in people’s heads. Those darker voices are the ones I evoke when I say in the movie, as I drive by public schools in run-down neighborhoods, that it’s easy to think that maybe “those kids simply can’t learn.” (There are a lot of shots in the movie about “driving by” failed schools. I kept being drawn to the real-life image of driving my family by the three public schools between our home and our private school. It’s a metaphor for what we all do. We know there’s a

I was amazed to hear these sentiments from everybody: administrators, principals, school board members, and even teachers. And so at a certain point in the middle of making the movie, I had to decide whether to bring out this really uncomfortable truth or to back away from it and hedge it. I was worried that 1586489274-text_Layout 1 7/30/10 10:22 AM Page 45 The Making of Waiting for “Superman” / 45 maybe I was betraying the ideals I shared with so many friends and family members, and I was

necessary to make it happen. I also have to say that the picture of unions and their role in education is not a black-and-white one. I’ve gotten to know union leaders who I think understand that the reforms we need will mean some serious adjustments on the part of their members, and that we need to rethink the rigid systems we’ve gotten locked into since the New Deal era. At the same time, these progressive union leaders can’t get too far ahead of their members. And they understandably don’t want

important change you want to see?” “Great teachers,” they said unanimously. “Bring us more great teachers.” Since then, almost every conversation I have had with students has led to this reasonable request. Students are very serious about wanting to learn from the best. During an unannounced visit to one high school, I noticed that many classrooms were nearly empty. I saw only one that was full, an English class in which the students were actively engaged in discussion. As I left the school an

to learn calculus. Their only handicap was 1586489274-text_Layout 1 7/30/10 10:23 AM Page 176 176 / Jay Mathews one he felt they shared with all teenagers: They were lazy. His cure for that was the second reason for his success—his skill at expanding the time they had to learn. Escalante tried to teach not only calculus but some of the lower-level subjects, such as algebra, so he could accustom new students to his demands. If someone was struggling in any of his classes, he would wave three

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