Waiting for Superman is a significant film piece that focuses on the views of controversial reformers and their solutions to fixing low-performing schools in America. The film follows five students throughout the public school system. The director, Davis Guggenheim focuses on the fact that bad teachers and their unions are the real problem in education and the solution is charter schools (Harvard Educational Review).
I believe that a crucial scene in Waiting for Superman, is when “drop out factories” are described and shown visually on a map of the United States. The author describes how people are seeing patterns in where and how students are dropping out and that failing elementary and middle schools feed students into high schools were they last on average 1-2 years. After doing research, it was would that there are about 2,000 “drop-out” factories. Additionally, those who the students who come out of these factories, then have no skills or diploma and are unable to contribute fully to society (Guffenheim). At 22:25, one can see the map that is being described. This visual struck me the most because of the amount of schools across the country that can be considered “drop-out factories.” The filmmaker successfully grabs viewer’s attention by this and drives home how many schools really do contribute to this problem.
I believe that one of the holes in this film is the unrecognition of other types of schooling. I think that it is important to recognize religious schools and private schools, where it is paid for, but there are also problems in that system too. Being from a private school myself, this film helped me realize what really is going on around the world having to do with education. I think that it would’ve offered a nice perspective to hear from private school advocates or even some students involved in that system too.
Guggenheim, Davis. Waiting for “Superman.” 2010. Film.