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Education Reform Has Gone Mainstream
posted by: Alix | September 21, 2010, 04:04 PM   

If you caught Oprah yesterday afternoon you would have noticed that the new film, Waiting for "Superman" was showcased and revered as a new mainstream documentary about what is wrong with our schools.

Oprah is doing a real service to her mainstream audience by focusing an hour of her show to the argument for real education reform. With this film and positive support from media powerhouses like Oprah, Director Davis Guggenheim will be able to reach average, everyday Americans, who, no doubt, will be outraged when they see this film.

Embattled reformers like Michelle Rhee were greeted to thunderous applause—a warm greeting that would never happen in front of the D.C. teachers unions. When discussing union-led fights to combat reforms and innovation, Oprah asked, "Are the (union) rules so overprotective that we've forgotten who we're protecting?" Even liberal-leaning Oprah can connect the dots and see that unions aren't putting children first.

Unfortunately for Guggenheim, the teachers unions have PR flacks to spin the story. AFT president Randi Weingarten cautioned the audience that the film doesn't paint the whole picture, citing high performing schools around the country. Once again Ms. Weingarten is missing the point. This movie is not about finding a scapegoat, but about creating a system where great teachers can be rewarded and schools can meet the challenges of today. And to answer Oprah's question, yes, we've forgotten who we're protecting.

What does this spell for the state of the education reform movement? Waiting for "Superman", which is released in theaters this week, will surely make waves, but will the raw emotion lead to actual change in the broken system? See the film and decide for yourself.

For more information about Waiting for "Superman" click here. Also, follow @WaitingSuperman on Twitter.

Do you think this mainstream coverage will lead to change?
Comment below.

Read more AAE Blog coverage on the film:
New York Magazine Features Waiting For 'Superman'


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