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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to watch “Waiting for Superman,” a heart-breaking documentary about America’s failing public school system. Sitting with my wife (who is a teacher herself) I could not contain my emotion. Sadness, anger and utter disgust are a few that come to mind. The movie covers failing schools throughout the country, and profiles the brave children and few educators that are doing everything they can to improve the system.
The prevailing theme of the film: the status quo will do anything to hold on to their power. Teachers unions remain the biggest impediment to real education reform. If our schools are going to change, it is the unions who need to change.
One scene in the movie shows what the New York school district calls, “padded rooms.” These rooms act as housing units for unionized teachers who can no longer function in a classroom environment. Due to union rules, these teachers cannot be fired so they are placed in rooms for seven hours a day while they receive full salary and benefits. This scene -like many throughout the movie- shows just how corrupt the system is.
After finishing the movie, I could not help but feel for the Supermen and Superwomen who are fighting to change the system. The countless teachers who face the daily challenges of a thankless system, and the parents who suffer as their kids remain in failing schools without a choice to leave. So, as I end this post I urge you to watch this movie and share it with your family and friends. Support education reform and take power away from the unions. Stop waiting for Superman, and be the superhero American children so desperately need.