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ERIC Number: EJ923863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Heroes and Myths: On Davis Guggenheim's "Superman"
Olorunda, Tolu
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v33 n2 p161-212 2011
David Guggenheim's latest documentary, "Waiting for 'Superman'," stops only an inch away from insisting upon the total razing of the public school system. Guggenheim stated that, with the release of this film, he was "trying to attack... this mental block that a lot of Americans have--which is that the problems with our schools are too complex, they've been broken for too long: and it's impossible [to fix]." So he decided, according to this author, to deconstruct the truly complex and varied troubles threatening the futures of millions of kids locked into various levels of the public school system. He sought the "the tone of an op-ed" to explain in less than two hours the problems and persons behind an education system badly trailing much of the First World in math and science proficiency. "Waiting for 'Superman'" features charter schools, where the film's main subjects--five children, all but one from low-income neighborhood--could only enter via a lottery system. Charter schools, about 5,000 nationwide, and serving over 1.5 million children, have mushroomed within the last decade. This author claims, however, that these charter schools have founders that know more about portfolio than pedagogy, and are often established with antipublic philosophies, rejecting in particular the very natures and functions of public schools. Even Guggenheim has grudgingly admitted that "only one in five [charters] are successful." "Rethinking Schools" has launched a counternarrative online forum, "," to respond to the documentary, claiming that the film "presents misleading information and simplistic 'solutions' that will make it harder for those of us working to improve public education to succeed." (Contains 115 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A