New film will send shockwaves through the political debate on education - will force the issue for the November elections
Are you ready for the tsunami that is about to hit the U.S.? Not from a Japanese earthquake, but from a new film called "Waiting for Superman" that will open in theaters nationwide on September 24th.
The movie focuses on five kids who want a better future and are stuck in an educational system that gives them no way out. In their desperation for a real education, these kids and their parents try to get into charter schools and other programs which are so oversubscribed they have to run lotteries for admission. These lotteries determine who will get a better future and who will be left by the wayside, like roadkill on the highway.
Watching the kids and parents during the lotteries will turn your stomach. It is so un-American to force these families through this torture. The lotteries come across as painful, cruel and unusual punishment for being stuck in a system that these kids cannot control.
The film ventures into solutions, not just commenting on the problem. I will leave the details to the movie, but suffice it say it is SPECIFIC in its recommendations.
I had the opportunity to see the film with a panel of the key figures in the movie at the Aspen Ideas Festival. On hand were Bill Gates, Geoffrey Canada, Davis Guggenheim and others to talk about the implications of this riveting and painful documentary. The group has assembled a wide array of partners to beat the drum on this issue and will force it into the November election dialogue. No candidate will be able to escape addressing the issue within a few months.
What will come of all this? Whether you agree with the film's conclusions or not, it will certainly stir controversy. With control of the House up in the air and major races coming down to a handful of votes, the education debate may well move mountains come November.
What do YOU think we should do to fix US schools?
You can find your local theater playing the film here.