Review of Waiting for SupermanReport as inadecuate

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National Education Policy Center

Waiting for Superman offers what appear to be straightforward, commonsense solutions to inequities in schooling. The film argues that heroic action can be taken to fix what it portrays as the disaster of public schooling. The film disregards poverty as a factor in school performance and connection--and therefore never addresses anti-poverty measures as potential solutions to the problems it identifies. While it raises issues that demand attention, including achievement gaps, high drop-out rates in some schools and districts, and the need for committed, well-prepared teachers, it offers solutions that are simplified, ignore research evidence, and are built on false assumptions. (Contains 12 notes.)

Descriptors: Poverty, Academic Achievement, Films, Documentaries, Equal Education, Public Schools, Achievement Gap, Dropout Rate, Teacher Education, Teacher Effectiveness, Educational Practices

National Education Policy Center. School of Education 249 UCB University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309. Tel: 303-735-5290; e-mail: nepc[at]; Web site:

Author: Dutro, Elizabeth


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