Wednesday, June 08, 2011

How Awesome Is This Opportunity?

I finally viewed Waiting for Superman last friday night.

The documentary created by filmmaker Davis Gugenheim explores the ongoing struggle of the American public education system as in most areas it continues to  fail our nation's children. The film explores the roles that charter schools and education reformers could play in offering hope for the future. The statistics which we are bombarded with every day  include the growing student drop out rate, continued deficiencies in science and math education, and schools constantly dealing with a lack of funding. The film brings to life the names and faces of the children whose entire futures are at stake. There was a time when the American public education system was a model admired by the entire world. Today other countries are surpassing us in every respect, and the slogan "No Child Left Behind" has become a cynical punch line. the documentary follows the lives and school choice options of Bianca, Emily, Anthony, Daisy, and Francisco. These five students deserve far better than what is currently offered by today's educational system. The current system is actually obstructing their education instead of bolstering it, Gugenheim instigates the discussion of what is possible and the options for improvement.

I was moved by the plight of the five students they followed throughout the documentary.  Witnessing the lack of options available to these young and promising  minds and to realize that much of their fate is dependent upon the bounce of a bingo ball, the turn of a raffle cylinder or the random sorting program of a computer, had a great impact on me.  As an educator, I became angry at a public school system mired in beuracracy and held captive by government red tape and special interests. But, on the other hand, as a Catholic School Educator I was invigorated by a sense of how tremendous is the opportunity I am given when parents entrust their children to our care.  How absolutely awesome is this responsibility to provide a learning environment that will allow these students to become extraordinary individuals who will make positive impacts on this world we share? 

I can not wait to get back in my class room next fall.

And now the real work begins. 
Summer Preparation


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