“Waiting for Superman”: Fix our schools!

Thomas Friedman raves about a new documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” hitting theaters in late September. The film celebrates “better-trained teachers working with the best methods under the best principals supported by more involved parents.”

Friedman claims that “we know what works, and it’s not a miracle cure. It is the whatever-it-takes-tenacity of the Geoffrey Canadas [founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone]; it is the no-excuses-seriousness of the KIPP school (Knowledge is Power Program) founders; it is the lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way ferocity of the Washington and New York City school chancellors, Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein.” Not everyone agrees, of course, that “we know what works.” One of Friedman’s respondents, “taxpayer” from Illinois, asks, “Does anyone know how much of the SAT gap Rhee and Klein have managed to eliminate?” And others respond with a wide range of skeptical comments about obstacles, costs, long-term effectiveness, and so on.

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