Even before its October 8 release, “Waiting for ‘Superman’” was everywhere—on the cover of Time, on “Oprah,” in news commentaries across the country. The film’s message—which presents charter schools as a (if not the) solution to our school systems’ ills and teacher unions as part of the problem—has resonated nationwide. But, as those who work in education know, reform is a tricky subject and not one to be answered in 111 minutes.
In a New York Review of Books critique of the film, Diane Ravitch made this point by referring to a charter school study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), which indicated that “17 percent were superior to a matched traditional public school; 37 percent were worse than the public school; and the remaining 46 percent had academic gains no different from that of a similar public school” (p. 1).
So what did you think of “Waiting for ‘Superman’”? Do you have a charter school experience to share?
If you’d like to read up on the topic, here are links to some related articles and reports: