Controversial Documentary "Waiting for Superman" Expected To Shake Up Education World

SMW, March 23, 2010 2:46 PM


First posted by The Daily Riff 1/23/10

The controversial documentary on education, Waiting For Superman, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, 1/22/10, was picked up by Paramount for worldwide rights.

Directed and produced by Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim of An Inconvenient Truth, Superman "reminds us that education 'statistics' have names:  Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily."

According to the Festival's info page here which includes a brief trailer and interview with Guggenheim, Waiting for Superman:

". . .follows a handful of promising kids through a dysfunctional education system. Embracing the belief in the philosophy that good teachers make good schools, and questioning the role of unions in maintaining the status quo,  Guggenheim offers hope by exploring innovative approaches taken by education reformers and charter schools that have - in reshaping the culture - refused to leave their students behind".

Judging from this comment alone, The Daily Riff expects this film to create a round of unprecedented media frenzy swirling the education world, similar to the heated debates and raised awareness level An Inconvenient Truth jump-started with climate change.  We are really looking forward to witnessing the wagon-circling, finger-wagging and crisis-mode PR and lobby machines working overtime addressing these high- profile issues to a national consumer audience.

The documentary features several leaders in education, including philanthropist Bill Gates of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; President and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York Geoffrey Canada; Chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools Michelle Rhee; Knowledge is Power Program Founders (KIPP) David Levin and Mike Feinberg; and President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation Bill Strickland.

Six-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist,  performer and philanthropist John Legend composed the title song 'Shine'.  Legend's own "Show Me" campaign and mission  "is to break the cycle of poverty through solutions that have been proven to improve people's lives," as described by his website here.

Said Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman, " . . . In collaboration with our partners, we hope to bring about a real solution."

Guggenheim added, "With these two great partners, Participant Media and Paramount Pictures, we have a chance to create public awareness around this issue, and this is the only way we can make real change in our children's schools."

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We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk, and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.
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