“Waiting for Superman” is a documentary made by film maker Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott. The film talks about the failure of US American public schools in meeting the standards of education. The film is recognized at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival by receiving the Audience Award for best documentary. The documentary premiered in the US last September 24.
The film is very powerful and moving as it evolves in following the lives of children and parents who hope for a chance to education. It features Black families and Latin American whose income is insufficient to send their children to private schools; they then turn to public schools in the hopes of giving a future for their kids. The aim of the documentary is to provide quality public education for children who cannot afford private schools. The film has inspired Microsoft founder, Bill Gates to promote the documentary. Although Bill Gates received his education in a private school he shares the belief that every American has a right to a quality public education they can use to succeed in life.
When the Bush administration passed the “No Child Left behind Act”, it sparked hope for educators and teachers that the quality of education in the US will see an increase. The “No Child Left behind Act” or NCLB aims to raise the quality of education through standards-based education reform. It believes that by raising high standards and specific goals, academic performance will improve. Some may argue that the goals of NCLB are unrealistic and unachievable. Alabama State Board Member Mary Jane Caylor disputed that the 100 percent proficiency is attainable come 2014.
The NCLB will give funding to states that are able to meet the standard test scores set by each state. The likelihood of states lowering their standards is possible to meet the criteria for the incentives of the NCLB program. Critics say this may cause some states to manipulate their test results or cause teachers to teach the “test”. It will then disregard the true purpose of raising the quality of education through this act.
“Waiting for Superman” is an outcry for legislators and educators to provide quality education in public schools. To face educational reforms head on to dissolve animosity of teacher’s unions in the educational reforms pushed by the government and organizations. The film is emotionally engaging when it showed parents’ frustrations for their children as they go through the lottery system for a better chance of education in a better public school than the one they are currently stuck in.