There is a lot of chatter about the upcoming documentary film "Waiting for 'Superman'," which will be released in local theaters in the coming weeks. It tells the moving stories of five children and their families as they seek to find better schools.
Despite the film's good intentions, "Waiting for 'Superman' " misses what could have been a unique opportunity to address the full and accurate story of public schools. The film's central themes—that all public school teachers are bad, that all charter schools are good and that teachers' unions are to blame for failing schools—are incomplete and inaccurate. There are no interviews of good public school teachers and no visits to successful public schools during the entire two-hour movie.
A new page on the AFT website provides a set of resources related to the documentary. While the "Not Waiting for Superman" page (http://www.aft.org/notwaiting/index.cfm) does offer rebuttals to some of the film's misleading content, it's more of a collection of resources that focus on real solutions to make our public schools work for all children.
The site includes profiles of a number of great public schools where AFT members work (with more examples being added regularly); a discussion of four elements of reform that need to be part of any comprehensive approach to improving schools; examples of productive labor-management efforts around the country; and other columns and letters about the film by AFT president Randi Weingarten.
We encourage everyone to visit the site and share the success stories (http://leadernet.aft.org/formmaker/take/survey.cfm?id=17028294-5056-b94b-117f-343045e1480f) of their public schools.