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Waiting for Superman

public schools are failing

Payton Huse

on 8 April 2011

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Transcript of Waiting for Superman

Public education is failing America's youth. 1. Students are underprivileged 2. teachers are not held accountable 4. so you think unions are beneficial, right? 3. complicated school funding Parents are very limited when it comes to choosing a school for their children (Stossel). Quality public schools are rare, about one in one hundred, and they require students to live in their district (Stossel). The Governor of South Carolina admits that money can buy a better education. He sends his own kids to a private school (Stossel). Not all families have the choice of going to a private school ("Waiting for Superman"). Bianca was an unplanned baby. Her mother cannot afford to put her through the nearby private school that costs $500 per month ("Waiting for Superman"). Public schools are available for everyone, but they are often overcrowded ("Waiting for Superman"). Daisy's public education route will send her to a middle school that has eighth graders testing at thirteen percent proficiency ("Waiting for Superman"). Fransisco's public education journey has him attending the third most crowded school in the Bronx where he is greeted every morning by a security guard that occupies the entrance of the school ("Waiting for Superman"). A student from New York's Abraham Lincoln High School said, "You see kids all the time walking in the school smoking weed, you know. It's a normal thing here." (Stossel). When five children had the chance to attend better schools they all entered lotteries, but only one was originally selected ("Waiting for Superman"). The fate of America's youth is being left to a game of chance and luck, a number on a lottery ball ("Waiting for Superman"). Unions were created to protect teachers in a time when they needed protection from poor wages and working conditions ("Waiting for Superman"). Still today, unions do protect teachers ("Teachers' Unions: Are They Good or Bad?"). It is nearly impossible to fire teachers ("Waiting for Superman"). One in 57 doctors lose their license and one in 97 attorneys lose their license, but only one in 2500 teachers lose their license ("Waiting for Superman"). A child stuck a camera in his backpack and filmed throughout the day. He recorded kids playing games in the back of the room, a teacher reading a newspaper the entire length of the class, and a teacher putting a child's face in a soiled toilet ("Waiting for Superman"). Howard Fuller, the principal of these teachers finally had the opportunity to fire them, he had footage of their awful behavior ("Waiting for Superman"). Reguardless, all of the teachers got to keep their jobs, with a year back pay ("Waiting for Superman"). There are 23 steps that must be completed in order to fire a teacher ("Waiting for Superman"). According to the Wall Street Journal, the city spends over $100 million anually on teachers that are no longer teaching ("America's Education Crisis"). New York City has been a home to the rubber room ("America's Education Crisis"). All of the steps must be finished by January, and if a single deadline is missed the whole process starts over ("Waiting for Superman"). This impossible process has led to "the dance of the lemons," which is a nickname for principals trading their "bad lemons," or the incompetent teachers ("Waiting for Superman"). Another alternative, when teachers cannot be fired and do not belong in the classroom, is the rubber room ("Waiting for Superman"). In the rubber room teachers get paid their full teachers' salary to sit and do absolutely nothing ("Waiting for Superman"). The amount of money spent on each individual student varries from state to state ("School Funding"). Then within each state, the amount of money spent on a student varies by up to $2000 dollars from one district to another ("School Funding"). School funding comes from federal, state, and city money ("School Funding"). Generally, the local tax base influences the amount of money spent per pupil ("School Funding"). Simply spending more is not the answer, though. Perhaps spreading the wealth might help ("Waiting for Superman"). The United States spends more money on education than many international competitors that have been testing much higher ("School Funding"). In the past few decades, education costs have risen from $4300 to $9000, but while education costs have doubled, test scores have flatlined ("Waiting for Superman"). Further into the system there are school boards, and there are over 14,000 school boards in the United States ("Waiting for Superman"). They give teachers job security through tenure ("Teachers' Unions: Are They Good or Bad?"). Tenure prevents administrators from firing teachers for personal reasons ("Teachers' Unions: Are They Good or Bad?"). Many states require teachers to receive tenure after just three years of teaching ("Teachers' Unions: Are They Good or Bad?"). Teachers's unions protect good and bad teachers ("Waiting for Superman"). They prevent teachers from being distinguished based on performance ("Waiting for Superman"). Unions protect fabulous teachers and child molesters with the same procedure ("America's Education Crisis"). Unions prevent merit pay ("America's Education Crisis"). In Michelle Rhee's reform in Washington D.C., she proposed that teachers have the choice of getting rid of tenure and in return, getting paid more based on positive classroom results, but unions would not even let teachers vote on the idea ("Waiting for Superman"). Michelle Rhee says that teachers cannot have the mentality that teaching is their right, it is a privilege ("Waiting fo rSuperman"). A student claims one of her secondary teachers once said, "I get paid whether you learn or not" ("Waiting for Superman"). 5. testing is no solution When George W. Bush introduced "No Child Left Behind," he certainly had good intentions, but in reality it has been less than effective ("Waiting for Superman"). It has led to more test preparation and less learning in the classroom ("Waiting for Superman"). "No Child Left Behind" has also encourage some schools to go as far as cheating on tests (Toppo). George Washington Elementary School, in Maryland, was caught tampering with answer bubble sheets on Maryland's anual state test (Toppo). An investigation of suspicious standardized test scores found 1,610 score improvements that seemed too good to be true (Toppo). More people are worried about keeping the teachers and unions satisfied than they are about the actual students ("Waiting for Superman"). George W. Bush commented, "I understand taking tests aren't fun...too bad?" That is definitely not the right attitude for education reform, it is about so much more than test scores ("Waiting for Superman"). Public Education is in obvious need of reform. Students desserve more than the failing education system that they are currently attending. They desserve to have teachers aware of suffering some sort of consequences for incompetent teaching. The complicated system of dividing money between each and every different school is not efficient. Unions aren't what they appear to be, and they are slowing down education reform. Additional standardized tests are not an effective solution, either. There is no doubt that America's education crisis can only be improved with time and attention, and any effective solution will upset powerful people, particularly teachers' unions. A survey by Education Week found that 79 percent of teachers spend a great deal of time on test preparation with their students (Sadker). One woman asks, "What did you have to sacrifice about my child's education to raise those scores?" (Sadker). Eighty-five percent of teachers believe that their school gives less attention to subjects that are not on the state test (Sadker). Tests are not always accurate, either (Sadker).
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