Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: Waiting for "Superman"

Title: Waiting for Superman

Product Description

The American public school system is in crisis, failing millions of students, producing as many drop-outs as graduates, and threatening our economic future. By 2020, the United States will have 123 million high-skill jobs to fill—and fewer than 50 million Americans qualified to fill them.
Educators, parents, political leaders, business people, and concerned citizens are determined to save our educational system. Waiting for "Superman" offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and more.
Waiting for "Superman" is an inspiring call for reform and includes special chapters that provide resources, ideas, and hands-on suggestions for improving the schools in your own community as well as throughout the nation.
For parents, teachers, and concerned citizens alike, Waiting for "Superman" is an essential guide to the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing America’s schools.
My Thoughts
I  have been on this huge kick lately reading all sorts of books and articles about education, how to meet the needs of students, motivation, creativity, etc. I decided to read this book after seeing it mentioned over at Brain Pickings   as one of the best books on education. I decided to read the book despite not having seen the movie. I have chosen not to watch the movie up until this point because of the press of the movie making a mockery of teachers. I am a teacher and did not want to see this perspective because I bust my butt every single day to be the best that I can be. 

I read the book with the mindset that this was going to point the blame at teachers. The book was far from it. Actually, it supported the notion of how important teachers are in the formula. Yes, we need to be accountable. Yes, there are some bad teachers and I feel that they need to be given a chance to improve or out you go. 

This book offered perspectives from a variety of people involved in education. I found the book refreshing. Each story/person provided what they believe is needed to make education better. Every single one of them mentioned a favorite teacher. Every single one of them had great ideas. I think we need to take a little from each story and make a new system.

I really enjoyed this book. It was an excellent read. I am now going to watch the movie. I want to know what comes of the kids portrayed. I am lucky in that I live in an area with all good schools. Students are not fighting to get into a school to actually learn. I could not imaging having to fight for a quality education. This book opened my eyes to outside my town where things are going good.

My favorite passage(I have many) is, "Education is ground zero for solving society's problems."

Teaching should be a privilege and I agree. I feel blessed to do what I do every single day(even the days when they don't go as planned)

This is another must read for any involved the public education system or kids.
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