I had the opportunity to see a pre-screening at a local university of Waiting for Superman – a moving documentary about the state of America’s schools this week. Let’s just say I regretted not bringing tissue!
The director of the movie, Davis Guggenheim (you may remember him as the director of An Inconvienent Truth), said in an interview with Oprah:
“I remember when I was 5 years old, I asked my mother, ‘Why do I take a 45-minute bus ride to go to school [in another city]?’ And she said, ‘Because the schools in our city are broken.”
His moving portrait of five children and their families shows what many of us already know – that many of our schools are still very broken. After becoming acquainted with each of the children, you watch with anticipation at they await their fates at their respective charter school lotteries. If their name is called or number is rolled, they win. If not, you shutter to think of these precious children returning to their failing neighborhood schools.
And then all the sudden you realize that the injustice that is so evident at these lotteries is only the tip of the iceberg – a metaphor for the systemic inequalities embedded in our education system. Makes me want to start a school. The movie opens on Friday.