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A collection of articles by the best contributors we can find.


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Matt Damon Speech at the SOS Rally - Saturday, July 30, 2011

Matt Damon’s speech at the Save Our Schools rally, July 30, 2011

“I think you’re awesome!”

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Superhero School Reform Heading Your Way - Monday, November 29, 2010

Now Playing in Newark, NJ

by Stan Karp


Michael Duffy

Long before director Davis Guggenheim jumped out of a phone booth in his Superman costume, I spent three decades as a high school teacher in Paterson, one of New Jersey’s poorest cities. Paterson had its own 15 minutes of school reform fame in the 1980s, thanks to Principal Joe Clark, whose bullhorn and baseball bat were featured in another superhero school movie, Lean on Me, a sanitized version of Clark’s reign of error at Eastside High School.

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Memo from Lois Lane - Monday, November 01, 2010

(aka Michelle Fine)

To: Rethinking Schools
From the Desk of: Lois Lane, reporter, Daily Planet
Date: November 1, 2010

From the Cutting Room Floor

As soon as I heard about the film Waiting for Superman, I knew I had to chat with Clark’s foster mother. I called her in Kansas: “Mrs. Kent, you must be so proud that Clark is a Hollywood star, the champion of public education. What do you think of the film?”

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Ultimate $uperpower: Supersized dollars drive “Waiting for Superman” agenda - Wednesday, October 20, 2010

by Barbara Miner


Michael Duffy

This article, written expressly for NOTwaitingforsuperman.org, explores the money behind the movie, its promoters, and those who will benefit from the movie. As author Barbara Miner writes, “In education, as in so many other aspects of society, money is being used to squeeze out democracy.” After examining the role of hedge funds, foundations and other players, she asks, “Should the American people put their faith in a white billionaires boys’ club to lead the revolution on behalf of poor people of color?”

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Ira Shor is not “Waiting for…” - Monday, October 04, 2010

Ira Shor, City University of New York
October 4, 2010, for NOT Waiting for Superman

“Waiting for Superman” is a painful movie to watch for public school advocates. Overall, it benefits the hedge-fund billionaires now bankrolling charter schools and conservative politicians who want to privatize the $500 billion/year school market. Teachers and schoolkids are on the verge of becoming a business bonanza. Recently, the public sector was plundered by Wall Street and its Bailout. But the transfer of public wealth to private hands will be even larger if school tax moneys can be funneled to private charter schools.

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What “Superman” got wrong, point by point - Monday, September 27, 2010

By Rick Ayers

Waiting for Superman: Approach it with a critical eye — Some of the evidence, some of the common sense that the film left out.

Washington Post Educational Blog

While the education film Waiting for Superman (WFS) has moving profiles of students struggling to succeed under difficult circumstances, it puts forward a sometimes misleading and other times dishonest account of the roots of the problem and possible solutions.

The amped up rhetoric of crisis and failure everywhere is being used to promote business model reforms that are destabilizing even successful schools and districts. A panel at NBC’s Education Nation event was originally titled “Does Education Need a Katrina?” Such disgraceful rhetoric undermines reasonable debate.

Let’s examine these issues.

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Proving Grounds: School “Rheeform” in Washington, D.C. - Monday, September 20, 2010

Washington, D.C., is leading the transformation of urban public education across the country—at least according to Time magazine, which featured D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee on its cover, wearing black and holding a broom. Or perhaps you read it in Newsweek or heard it from Oprah, who named Rhee to her “power list” of “remarkable visionaries.”

But there’s nothing remarkably visionary going on in Washington. The model of school reform that’s being implemented here is popping up around the country, heavily promoted by the same network of conservative think tanks and philanthropists like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton Family Foundation that has been driving the school reform debate for the past decade. It is reform based on the corporate practices of Wall Street, not on education research or theory. Indications so far are that, on top of the upheaval and distress Rhee leaves in her wake, the persistent racial gaps that plague D.C. student outcomes are only increasing.

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We’re NOT “Waiting for Superman” - Monday, September 20, 2010

Stan Karp
for the editors of Rethinking Schools
www.rethinkingschools.org

Dear Friends,

On Sept. 24, a new film, “Waiting for Superman,” will draw media attention to public education across the country. Unfortunately, most of it will be negative. So we’ve started a project to talk back to the film and the message it promotes. We hope you will join us on the pages of NOTwaitingforsuperman.org.

The message of the film is that public schools are failing because of bad teachers and their unions. The film’s “solution,” to the minimal extent it suggests one, is to replace them with “great” charter schools and teachers who have less power over their schools and classrooms.

This message is not just wrong. In the current political climate, it’s toxic.

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