Last week I finally saw Waiting for “Superman,” and I found it both compelling and suspect. As a post-secondary Canadian teacher, I find myself unable to evaluate the validity of the questions posed or the answers suggested by this film. Are charter schools the answer to the US’s educational woes? (Or ours?) Will merit pay really support great teaching and learning? Is tenure for schoolteachers a bad, bad, bad idea?
I have seen commentary on all these questions in blogs and American news, but because I’m not familiar with the system, a lot of it is beyond my understanding. American teachers (or anyone who knows something about American schools), can you help me out here in language I can understand? If you’ve seen the film, what do you think of it? If you haven’t, have you encountered the filmmakers’ mission statements and action plans? Are they valid? Feasible? If not, what are they missing? What are your feelings about Michelle Rhee and her move to overhaul the Washington DC school system? Is Geoffrey Canada a revolutionary hero? Tell me what to think, I beg you.