David Guggenheim’s documentary, Waiting for “Superman” explains the problems with the American education system. The documentary shows personal stories of families who are enrolled in the broken public education system. These parents have been trying to get a good education for their children, but because of certain factors, it has been hard for them to do so. The film follows these students till they are in the lottery system, where only one was accepted and one got off the waitlist. Waiting for “Superman” discusses how families from different backgrounds and places all have something in common, which is that the education that every student is receiving is not equally distributed.
One of the families that was followed was Daisy’s. Daisy’s parents, her dad who stays at home, and her mom who cleans hospital, have been trying to have Daisy received a good education. When the film first introduced Daisy, it was nice to see the she had big dreams for herself. Guggenheim follows her family from the beginning, interviewing her at home and at school, and then to the lottery at KIPP LA Prep. Daisy, who is very dedicated to her studies, wants “to have a lot of choices” (Guggenheim 7:00) She said, “I want to be nurse, I want to be a doctor and I want to be a veterinarian,” because she “wants to help someone in need” (Guggenheim 7:24). At Daisy’s school only 13% of the school will be proficient in math, of the 15 courses needed to go to a 4-year college, only 3/100 students will have graduated with the necessary classes and 57% will not graduate (Guggenheim 21:03-21:30). It was sad to see that Daisy was not accepted in the lottery because she is one of those students who is excited to learn, loves to learn and has big dreams for herself. Due to the socioeconomic factors it has been a struggle for her to receive an education that she deserves to have.
Waiting on “Superman” explains and displays a lot of the issues surrounding the public school education in America. It shows when people come disadvantaged backgrounds, they receive a different education than families who come from more advantaged backgrounds. However, the documentary fails to address the people who succeed in the tracking system in public education. Guggenheim follows the students who are all from poor neighborhoods, who have poor schooling, but he does not follow other neighborhods, whether poor or rich, that have good schooling. To make the film more accurate to society Guggenheim showed show the public school system from all points of view.
Citation: Guggenheim, Davis. Waiting for “Superman.” 2010. Film.