photo courtesy of photobucket.com
This afternoon I watched a documentary entitled, "Waiting For Superman" by Davis Guggenheim, Director / Co-Writer, and Billy Kimball, Co-Writer.
This documentary is a review of our nation's pubic education systems. The realities brought to light in this film left me stunned. The realization that most parents genuinely believe this dysfunctional and broken system is the only option they have for their children's education brought tears to my eyes.
Portions of this film follow 5 families and their quests for improved education options. It was painfully obvious that not a single one of these families had ever considered the option of homeschooling. As a matter of fact, from the perspective of the film it appears these families are not even aware that home education may be an option. If they are aware of the option, it is not one they have considered.
The U.S. education system is completely broken. Parents of school aged children MUST take IMMEDIATE action to change this. There are several avenues available for change. Will one and only one avenue work? No, not in my opinion. Every student is unique in his or her own way. Each has individual strengths, weaknesses and goals. However, I sincerely believe the freedom for a parent to choose the educational avenues they personally think are best for their children is not only where America should start but is ultimately the tool that will bring forth the most improvement in educating our nation's youth.
More than 100 years ago we, U.S. citizens, turned control of our children's education over to local, state and federal government bureaucracies. Today, public education is the largest monopoly in America. The NEA and AFT unions have used campaign contributions to bribe our government representatives to implement policy, regulations and laws that benefit the unions and it's members - not our children. The documentary, "Waiting For Superman" shows exactly what the teacher's unions and our government agencies have produced, and quite frankly folks, we ain't gettin' squat for our money.
The"Waiting For Superman" web-site seems to promote "fixing" our educational woes through improved teachers, public schools and charter schools. The standard rule of tracking the progress through these venues is by administering standardized testing - which I am personally opposed to. I oppose standardized testing specifically because it promotes a "teaching the test" mentality - a disturbing reality in my own public school district. Real education and real learning does not come through memorizing particular facts that allows one to score well on a standardized exam. It comes from genuinely learning a given area of study which then produces a student who is equipped with the knowledge, thinking, and analytical skills necessary to score well on an exam. I strongly believe in individual accountability, competition and individual choice. I think the accountability, choices and decisions should rest entirely upon the shoulders of parents and the educational venues the parents choose, not teacher's unions and government representatives.
There are several grass-root movements seeking to improve the quality of education in America today. Two of my personal favorites are Parental Rights. Org and Alliance for the Separation of School and State. Both seek to promote and protect parental freedom and choice in educational decisions for children. "Waiting on Superman" is also a grass-roots movement seeking change and more parental choice in education. I encourage all to watch the documentary "Waiting on Superman", I think it will drive home the severity of the crisis that is commonly known as education in America. I hope this documentary will encourage you to become involved in seeking avenues of improved change in educating our nation's youth.