September 2010, Week 4


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Tue, 28 Sep 2010 20:52:32 -0400
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Waiting for Superman - or Not

1) AFT's `Not Waiting for Superman' Site 
2) BOYCOTT!!! Waiting for Superman!!! 
3) Grading 'Waiting for Superman'


AFT's `Not Waiting for Superman' Site Tells the Whole Story

By James Parks 
AFL-CIO blog 
September 28, 2010


The movie "Waiting for Superman" has spurred a conversation
about our nation's education system. But the movie doesn't
tell the real story about what's happening in our nation's
schools. The AFT is not waiting for Superman-its members are
telling the whole story now.

Visit AFT's "Not Waiting for Superman" webpage here to get
the whole story, and click here to join the conversation on
how we can help all children-not just some-get a great public

On the website you'll learn about the great public schools
across the country where AFT members work. The site shows
many of the productive labor-management efforts that have
turned the collective bargaining process into a powerful tool
to improve schools. And it points out the work of local
unions across the nation, supported by the AFT Innovation
Fund, to take the lead in improving teaching and learning.
None of those things were even mentioned in "Waiting for

The video above is one of several AFT has made in hopes of
motivating people to support real solutions to help all
children get the education they deserve. It shows Juan
Romero, an everyday hero whose dedication and commitment have
been a strong influence in his students'  lives. Here is what
AFT advocates to enable every student to have a Juan Romero
for a teacher:

    * Developing great teachers through revamping preparatory
    programs for teachers, and overhauling teacher
    development and evaluation programs. 
    * Creating a robust curriculum. 
    * Creating the conditions that promote earning for all 
    * Ensuring shared responsibility and mutual 
    accountability that hold everyone responsible for fixing 
    our schools, not just teachers.

And watch for a new ad the union is launching soon to tell
the story that "Waiting for Superman" ignored.


United Public Workers for Action

BOYCOTT!!! Waiting for Superman!!!

Waiting for Superman is pernicious propaganda aimed to
privatize public education!!!!

Waiting for Superman is part of a three decades-long bi-
partisan-corporate driven "consensus building" campaign to
development public support for privatizing public schools,
smashing teacher unions, while promoting charter schools.
The premise of the documentary is that public schools are
"failing schools" and that teacher unions are an obstacle to
the reform of public education.  The documentary underscores
President Barack Obama's education policy-called Race to the
Top-which aims to intensify the aforementioned objectives.

The "consensus building" campaign against public education
has expanded significantly since Obama announced the Race to
the Top policy in July, 2009. This can be observed by the
broad-based, and ever present, commentaries in support of
charter schools and statements claiming teacher unions impede
pro-corporate educational reforms.  This propaganda campaign
involves media pundits and columnists, corporate news
reports, academic administrators and university boards of
trustees and regents, foundation heads, such as Bill Gates,
and some union leaders.  Waiting for Superman, produced by
Davis Guggenheim, who also produced Al Gore's Inconvenient
Truth, is an indication of just how wide-spread that assault
is. While the Gates and Brode Foundations financed Waiting
for Superman, those billionaires are opposed to increasing
taxes on the wealthiest 1% in the country. All the while,
funding for public education in California is 47th lowest in
the country, and the situation continues to get worse.

Waiting for Superman completely ignores economic,
sociological, and technological factors which actually shape
the conditions which influence elementary and secondary
student's academic performance.   Stan Karp, an editor at
Rethinking Schools, states, "It's as if someone made a film
about global warming and did not mention cars, oil companies,
or carbon dioxide."  Karp continues:  "this film misses the
mark by light years. Instead of helping people understand the
many problems schools face and what it will take to address
them, it presents misleading infor-mation and simplistic
"solutions" that will make it harder for those of us working
to improve public education to succeed. We know first hand
how urgently change is needed. But by siding with a corporate
reform agenda of teacher bashing, union busting, test-based
"accountability" and highly selective, privatized charters,
the film pours gasoline on the public education bonfire
started by [George W. Bush's] No Child Left Behind and Race
To the Top."

See: www.NOTwaitingforsuperman.org as a place to find more
information about a campaign to counter the impact of this
documentary. Produced by: United Public Workers for Action.
See: www.UPWA.info

[See also:


Grading 'Waiting for Superman'

By Dana Goldstein 
The Nation 
September 23, 2010

Here's what you see in Waiting for Superman, the new
documentary that celebrates the charter school movement while
blaming teachers unions for much of what ails American
education: working- and middle-class parents desperate to get
their charming, healthy, well-behaved children into
successful public charter schools.

Here's what you don't see: the four out of five charters that
are no better, on average, than traditional neighborhood
public schools (and are sometimes much worse); charter school
teachers, like those at the Green Dot schools in Los Angeles,
who are unionized and like it that way; and noncharter
neighborhood public schools, like PS 83 in East Harlem and
the George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, that
are nationally recognized for successfully educating poor

You don't see teen moms, households without an adult English
speaker or headed by a drug addict, or any of the millions of
children who never have a chance to enter a charter school
lottery (or get help with their homework or a nice breakfast)
because adults simply aren't engaged in their education.
These children, of course, are often the ones who are most
difficult to educate, and the ones neighborhood public
schools can't turn away.

You also don't learn that in the Finnish education system,
much cited in the film as the best in the world, teachers
are-gasp!-unionized and granted tenure, and families benefit
from a cradle-to-grave social welfare system that includes
universal daycare, preschool and healthcare, all of which are
proven to help children achieve better results at school.

Read on:


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