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

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

Karl Weber

Language: English

Pages: 191


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The American public school system is in crisis, failing millions of students, producing 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. Waiting for "Superman" offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and more.

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.

















to the national debate that surrounds the issue of educational reform. This companion book, inspired by the film, attempts to offer its own contribution. Through the insights, experiences, and wisdom of many of America’s leading experts on education, each with a unique and uniquely valuable perspective, we want to help inform the debate, clarify the issues, suggest how much has already been accomplished by today’s most gifted school reformers, and illuminate the problems that continue to elude

Boston Globe newsroom behind me and the Dever fifth graders ahead. I wasn’t a great teacher, but the kids thought it was a great class. I was a real editor, and they became real journalists. Every kid in the apprenticeship wrote at least two published articles. They edited one another’s work and were edited by me as well. We sold $400 worth of advertisements to local businesses. We had comics and a crossword puzzle. And one day in our last week together, we all piled into a rented van and drove

fun of people who complained that he was teaching to the test. With an exam as deep and varied as AP Calculus AB, that was exactly what he ought to be doing, he said. He had to rid his class of the standard high school dynamic, kids versus teacher. In ordinary classrooms the students would try to persuade the teacher to ease up, maybe by not assigning so many homework questions, or by going easy on word problems. Teachers often succumbed to such pressure, at least marginally. Many teachers didn’t

want to give out too many bad grades or the parents would complain to the principal. AP was different, Escalante said. If a parent complained about a low grade, he would say he was sorry, but he had to prepare his students for a three-hour exam he had not written and would not be allowed to grade. If he was too easy on his students they would not be ready for the exam. When the scores became public, if they were low, he would be blamed. So instead he made the exams the focus of a team effort,

beginning. The truth is, the path to finding a story that worked was not a straight one. It was filled with anxiety and shadowed by the voices of the naysayers, none more convincing than the ones inside my own head. Truthfully, the final product emerged less from a thought-out design than from necessity. An Inconvenient Truth works because of the combination of disparate elements. We had Al’s slide show that was so compelling, while in the other scenes we went intensely off-camera, only hearing

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