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An Analysis of Waiting for Superman

In: Social Issues

Submitted By shifty4ever
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In 2010, Davis Guggenheim released one of the years most talked about documentaries, Waiting for Superman. His film was an eye opening, to many, look at the failings of the U.S. school system. The film follows five students across the U.S., who range in grade level from kindergarten to eighth grade, as they try and escape the public school system through a lottery for a chance admission to a charter school. Guggenheim lays the blame for the failing public education system at the feet of the various teachers unions, and makes a plea for the public in general to get involved in reforming the system. By analyzing Waiting for Superman through a sociological perspective, issues of inequality will be explained using the theoretical approach of the conflict perspective. Waiting for Superman begins with the director, David Guggenheim driving past the Los Angeles public schools as he takes his own children to a private school. Guggenheim starts to explain the problems with public education, in regards to how it is failing our society in general, and that the only way for the average family to escape it, is luck. The documentary follows five children, four are minorities from lower income families and one is white from an affluent area of California. All five face the same problem, a public education system that views them as numbers that feed the system. They are not considered for their individual talents or shortcomings. They are all doomed to follow a predestined track, developed by a bureaucracy that favors the welfare of the teachers over the students. Guggenheim presents to the audience charter schools, an alternative to public education. These schools are not controlled by the normal bureaucratic processes and teachers unions. They are free to hire and promote based on performance. The idea of tenure is left by the wayside. Tenure is, in the academic...

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