Category Archives: Waiting for Superman

Modern Superheroes


 This was brought up in church a few weeks ago how most of the top summer blockbuster movies involve superheroes. The pastor also said that two of the top grossing movies of all time are The Avengers with Iron Man and The Dark Knight with Batman. The point was made on how these two characters are appropriate superheroes for today’s society. Think about it for a minute, neither of them have special powers that they were born with or got from a spider bite or something.

What do Iron Man and Batman have in common? Well their alter egos, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, are both billionaire businessmen and both get their power from technology. Money and technology are what make them great, gadgets if you will.

I couldn’t help but think of education today. The heroes who are driving reform in this country are people like Bill Gates and Eli Broad, rich billionaires who love technology. Also the drive to use technology to “individualize” learning, aka have a computer algorithm match a students abilities as it drills and kills them.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am no Luddite but technology needs to be a tool for students to control their learning not just a teacher substitute program. Educators are all tired of the themes of Waiting for Superman but we need to watch out for the “help” from Iron Man and Batman.

Money should not be what drives the focus of education in this country. I for one am tired of the political and for profit companies meddling in education. Educators need to stand up more and show better ways for learning.

What can you do in your sphere of influence to change the education conversation to student-centered learning instead of the current “reforms?”

No one is "Waiting for Superman"

No one knows about or cares about Waiting for Superman Really.

I have not seen the movie, but have read many blogposts and newspaper reviews about it. I feel fed up with the negative portrayal of teachers just like many others. But does it really matter?

Very few people are going to see this movie or even know about it. Probably more people saw the “commercial” for it on Oprah than will actually see the movie. Jackass 3-D was the number one movie this past weekend and Superman fell two places to 18th on the list of movies viewed.


With just over 2.5 million in total sales at $10 a ticket that is only 250,000 people. If we double that to half a million people to count for free viewings and cheaper tickets (I am being overly generous here) that is around 1 out of every 700 Americans.

Try this quick quiz with some people you know in real life:
  1. What is Waiting for Superman?
  2. Tell me everything you know about it.
  3. Who is Michelle Rhee?
  4. Tell me everything you know about her.
  5. Who is Joe Klein/Geoffrey Canada/fill in your favorite “reformer” here?
  6. Tell me everything you know about them.
You can add any fun questions you want to this list. Ask your spouse, neighbors, or friends. I am willing to bet you will get responses like this:
Now ask your colleagues at school. Did you get better answers? Again I bet probably not. So if no one watches Superman and no one knows about it then how dangerous is it really? I think for the average American it is as important as this is.
PS: Of course, I know that it matters that we debate this stuff at many levels, but I think edubloggers are over reacting at the effect of this movie on the average American.