Waiting for

Waiting for "SUPERMAN": How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools

by Karl Weber

Paperback(Media tie-in)

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The American Public School System is an crisis, failing millions of students, producing almost as many drop-outs as graduates, and threatening our economic future. By 2020, the United States will have 123 million high-skill jobs to fill-and fewer than 50 million Americans qualified to fill them.

Educators, parents, political leaders, business people, and concerned citizens are determined to save our educational system. This book, which delves more deeply into the issues raised by the acclaimed documentary film, offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including:

Waiting for "Superman" is an inspiring call for reform and includes special chapters that provide resources, ideas, and hands-on suggestions for improving the schools in your own community as well as throughout the nation.

For parents, teachers, and concerned citizens alike, Waiting for "Superman" is an essential guide to the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing America's schools.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586489274
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 09/14/2010
Edition description: Media tie-in
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 579,425
Product dimensions: 9.46(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Karl Weber is a writer and editor based in New York. He collaborated with Muhammad Yunus on his bestseller Creating a World Without Poverty and has edited two previous Participant Media Guides, Food, Inc. and Cane Toads and Other Rogue Species.

Davis Guggenheim is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award®-winning director and producer, whose work includes It Might Get Loud, the 2009 documentary featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White; and An Inconvenient Truth featuring former Vice President Al Gore, which won the Oscar® for Best Documentary in 2007. More recently, Guggenheim directed Barack Obama's biographical film for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as well as Obama's 30-minute primetime infomercial. Guggenheim has also directed many television series including Deadwood, NYPD Blue, and 24.

Table of Contents

Prologue-The Problem

1 A Nation Still At Risk 3

Part I The Film

Introduction: Waiting for "Superman"-The Story Behind the Movie 15

Voices from Waiting for "Superman" 23

2 The Making of Waiting for "Superman" Davis Guggenheim 27

3 The Road to Super Tuesday Lesley Chilcott 49

Part II Francisco

Introduction: Francisco's Story 67

4 How Schools Kill Neighborhoods-and Can Help Save Them Bill Strickland 69

5 The Difference Is Great Teachers Eric Hanushek 81

Part III Emily

Introduction: Emily's Story 103

6 Calling All Citizens Eric Schwarz 105

Part IV Anthony

Introduction: Anthony's Story 125

7 Putting Kids First Michelle Rhee 127

8 Five Foundations for Student Success Randi Weingarten 143

Part V Bianca

Introduction: Bianca's Story 165

9 What Really Makes a Super School? Jay Mathews 167

Part VI Daisy

Introduction: Daisy's Story 187

10 Bringing Change to Scale: The Next Big Reform Challenge Geoffrey Canada 189

11 Educating America's Young People for the Global Economy Bill Melinda Gates 201

Part VII What You Can do

12 How You Can Make a Difference: The Alliance for Excellent Education 215

13 Web Sites and Organizations Devoted to Children, Schools, and Education Reform 229

14 Mom Congress Lesson Plan for Change: Editors of Parenting magazine 253

Notes 265

Index 271

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Waiting for "SUPERMAN": How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
AnaMardoll More than 1 year ago
Waiting for "Superman" / 978-1-586-48928-1 I haven't yet seen the documentary that this book is a companion text to; although it was recommended highly to me, I missed it in theaters and it hasn't come available to rent yet. Still, I was curious enough about the documentary and knew just enough to be dangerous about the subject material, so I bought this companion text and plowed right in. Results are...mixed. This book is basically a compilation of essays from different people on the subject of American public school reform. Some of the authors have more expertise than others; wishing no disrespect, some of the essay authors seem to have experience limited only to specific charities or boutique schools, with very little scientific data to back up some of their opinions. It's probably telling that the essay included here that I thought was the most powerful and best researched was the one that criticizes the documentary (and by extension the book) for (a) relying too much on largely out-of-date anecdotes about "bad" teachers and union problems and (b) (possibly inadvertently) pushing the notion that a few boutique schools will solve the problem. It's this essay that points out for all the many pages spent here criticizing unions, there's not any actual strong data presented against unions - a pretty frustrating omission in a documentary! And focusing on the "bad" teachers ignores the more important issue that "bad" teachers often can become "good" teachers with the appropriate training and feedback. Focusing on a cooperative method of evaluation and training seems, to me, to be more important than "fire all bad teachers!" which seems to ignore the problem of where their replacements are going to come from. Moving on, other oddities in the various essays on display here include... An author who thinks it's admirable for a charter school principle to randomly threaten parents with "immigration authorities" if their kids miss a day of class. An author who argues against smaller classroom sizes because ze really doesn't seem to understand how scientific data is collected (to wit, halving a class size and handing off half to a new teacher, and then measuring the combined literary/math scores of both classes at the end of the year doesn't control for the quality of the new teacher; a meaningfully controlled study would measure 1 teacher with X students and compare that against the SAME teacher with X/2 students). An author who argues that principals need to be replaced with "CEO" figures because in a corporation, when something goes wrong, everyone knows the CEO is responsible - an assertion that makes me doubt the author has ever WORKED at a large corporation. An author who wants to reform the school system to resemble the American HEALTH CARE system because - and I swear this is true - it's just so gosh-darn *efficient*. I don't really know what to say to that. I feel like I've been very harsh in my review thus far, and I want to stress that this is a VERY interesting book, with lots of fascinating viewpoints. I do recommend this book if you're a fan of the documentary or if you're interested in the subject matter, but I *do* think that people should read these opinion essays for what they predominantly are: opinions. ~ Ana Mardoll
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As has been pointed out, the agenda of this book is more to promote the charter school industry and place blame for underfunded public schools on teachers' unions rather than on the politicians who have taken a hatchet to our children's future.
RB49 More than 1 year ago
A promotional book for charter schools! This was so disappointing and simply rehashed some of the issues that everyone is so familiar with without a new insight.
need2readVC More than 1 year ago
I work in the school system in Texas. Didn't realize how schools in other parts of the country worked. Shame that unions control so much. Lots of children missing out on a good education. We have a very low income and mostly made up of mexican students. I feel our students compared to the rest of the country are doing well. I plan to check out the movie from Redbox.
ReadAllAboutIt More than 1 year ago
There is nothing more heartbreaking then watching a child being destroyed in a failing school system. This country can find money to do the most insane things, but we won't invest in OUR future. The movie should be shown on every cities downtown on an outdoor movie screen...FOR FREE! When we stop caring about the very people who will run this country in the near future we stop caring about American! Everybody needs to wake up and get serious from Washingtion down or the US is going to be just another third world country that people only care about with it is news worthy...what are we doing?
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