‘Waiting for Superman’ indicts U.S. education system

Leon Goodrum


Leon Goodrum

SAN DIEGO — Waiting for Superman is a Davis Guggenheim documentary that focuses on a subject that we as  student should be concerned with, education. It looks at the failure of America’s education system by following a handful of students through their lives, struggles and hopes for better.

As shown in this trailer, the film deeply explores poverty-stricken communities and their lack of “good” teachers.

I found the film very insightful, although after watching I had the feeling I had been witnessing a lot of non-productive finger-pointing.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said. “The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.”

Although I find this declaration profound,  I personally do not not feel that our educational system is the root of our decline as a nation.  At the end of the day, our economic system is built to better the lives of the richer while the poor get poorer. The education system is a result of this, not the cause.

The solution proposed in the film bothered me a great deal in fear that we would lose what little arts and music we have in our schools. In our race to be just as ”smart” as the rest, would America lose its identity? Isn’t education  about truly understanding and our ability to utilize what we are taught,  not what we can remember to satisfy a requirement?

If all we do is educate people to test well, I fear that G.M. Trevelyan’s quotation will be actualized: “Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.”

Waiting for Superman is now playing at the Landmark Hillcrest – 3965 Fifth Avenue #200, San Diego

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Goodrum is a student in Media Comm 132