Greetings again from the darkness. The system is broken. I am neither a teacher, Union official or politician … simply a U.S. citizen who sees a real problem with a public education system that seems to adequately serve very few.

After viewing Davis Guggenheim‘s documentary, I find it fascinating to read some of the comments made … especially those made by teachers.  To my eye, the film does not blame any one group for the problems – though lousy (not good) teachers and a misguided union do take some serious criticism. Shouldn’t they? The film makes the point that excellent teachers and principals can definitely make a difference … comparing a great teacher to a work of art.  The specific subject families show caring, involved parents and eager to learn children. Of course, not every family or child fits this definition. But shouldn’t the system at least work for the engaged parents and students?

There is no shortage of blame in this game – politicians, unions, teachers, administrators, parents and rowdy kids. Regardless of the situation, it’s clear that the overall system is flawed, especially in lower income areas. The film asks the question, do neighborhoods drag the school down or is it vice versa? To me, it doesn’t matter. The system should reward the teachers, parents and children who do want to teach and learn.

Regardless of your politics or personal involvement in education, I commend Mr. Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) and Mr. Gates and Ms. Rhee for rocking the boat … for getting the questions asked in a public forum. This movie should inspire much debate and discussion – typically the beginning of real improvement and change. Let’s hope this is the needed start to finding a better system.

SEE THIS MOVIE IF: you believe debate and discussion can lead to changes for the better.

SKIP THIS MOVIE IF: you believe the current public education system is perfect.


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