Oprah Features Waiting For Superman
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Oprah Features Waiting For Superman

The Oprah Winfrey Show today shined a light on failing public schools. She featured film maker Davis Guggenheim Director of the Film Waiting For Superman, Bill Gates, and Michelle Rhee the controversial Chancellor of the DC Public Schools. Waiting For Superman is a documentary film about failing public schools and the challenges kids are facing to get a good education.

Bill Gates through his charitable foundation has focused attention on the need for the U.S. education system to meet 21st century challenges. Michelle Rhee the D.C. Public Schools Chancellor was cheered on Oprah for efforts in challenging an entrenched teachers union and firing one thousand under performing teachers in DC some deserving some not so. But the DC public may have responded with their vote in firing the Mayor that hired her and there is no guarantee that Rhee will not receive the pink slip she gave out to so many others (due to the perception by some voters that she is a bully). See Common Dreams Article

The hope is that the film will spark a national dialog on the state of public schools. Public Schools are often the subject of ridicule especially in the cities due to large numbers of kids dropping out and a reputation of having some teachers who do not care. A national debate on education, curriculum, training of teachers and supporting them financially, and removing teachers who do not perform should be welcome. The teachers unions should get ahead of this issue and work with school boards on teacher removal. Besides the union looks silly when it protects teachers whose goal is to just collect a check and not educate.
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