The Answer Sheet: Superman


Posted at 11:36 PM ET, 10/23/2012

Welcome to the blogging world, Superman!

It's not often that a superhero joins the blogging world, but, apparently, we are getting one -- Superman, er, Clark Kent.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:36 PM ET, 10/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Blogging, Clark Kent Quiting Newspaper, Clark Kent Quits Newspaper, D.C. Comics, Superman

Posted at 10:45 PM ET, 02/27/2011

How 'Inside Job" explains school reform

Here, in a repeat performance, is a piece explaining why Academy Award winning documentary "Inside Job," does a great job explaining school reform even though it is about the financial crisis.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:45 PM ET, 02/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Kevin Welner | Tags:  academy award, inside job, waiting for superman

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/27/2011

2 false claims that drive school reform

"Accountability" and "merit" are compelling concepts, especially when we are talking about adults who are charged with educating our children. But the concepts have been misused in school reform, writes an educator.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Accountability, Charter schools, Guest Bloggers, Performance pay, Teacher assessment | Tags:  accountability movement, charter schools, geoffrey canada, merit pay, michelle rhee, performance pay, school choice, teacher pay, teachers, waiting for superman

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/28/2011

Film critic Ebert rescinds positive ‘Superman’ review

More bad news for “Waiting for Superman.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  academy award, davis guggenheim, oscar, oscar snubs, roger ebert, waiting for superman, why oscar snubbed superman

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/25/2011

Why Oscar snubbed ‘Superman’ -- deservedly so

The documentarians get it: “Waiting for Superman” was not a good/accurate enough documentary to be nominated for an Academy Award.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 01/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  academy award nominations, academy awards, davis guggenheim, diane ravitch, documentaries, feature documentaries, films that were snubbed, inside job, michelle rhee, movies snubbed, oscar nominations, oscar snubs, oscars, randi weingarten, superman, waiting for superman

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 01/16/2011

Why 'Inside Job' bests 'Waiting for Superman' on school reform

Now that "Waiting for Superman" has made the short list of documentaries up for an Academy Award, an educator explains why another film on the list, "Inside Job," does a better job of explaining the school crisis even though its not about education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 01/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  academy awards, critics choice awards, davis guggenheim, golden globe awards, inside job, oscars, public schools, school reform, schools, waiting for superman

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Teachers give 'Superman' director an earful

"Waiting for Superman" film director Davis Guggenheim asks teachers to tell him what they about his education film -- the one that scapegoats teachers -- and they let him have it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody | Tags:  anthony cody, attack on teachers, charter schools, davis guggenheim, superman, teachers, teachers unions, waiting for superman

Posted at 02:24 PM ET, 11/09/2010

Antidote to an educator’s depression

An educator writes: "After spending a few weeks watching films about the proclaimed 'Crisis in American Education' -- The Lottery, The Cartel, and Waiting for Superman -- I considered calling my doctor to prescribe an anti-depressant. I also wondered if I should have pursued a different career, maybe driving a truck or making shoes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:24 PM ET, 11/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  educational films, mark phillips, school reform, the cartel, the lottery, waiting for superman

Posted at 03:55 PM ET, 10/31/2010

The importance of being unprincipled

Teacher Larry Ferlazzo writes that sometimes, sticking to our principles isn't the right thing to do, and suggests that we sometimes aim to be "unprincipled."

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:55 PM ET, 10/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  larry ferlazzo, teachers, waiting for superman

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 10/29/2010

Waiting for sanity in education reform

This fall brought a lot of noise in the education world: A movie, a manifesto and a mayoral election. Now comes news Now comes the news that, in light of whatever is going to happen on Nov. 2nd, the Obama administration is looking for ways to work with the next Congress and is targeting No Child Left Behind to reauthorize. George Wood says: "Yikes."

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 10/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  diane ravitch, george wood, jon stewart, jon stewart rally, mike rose, no child left behind, restore sanity, sanity rally, school reform, stephen colbert, stewart colbert, waiitng for superman

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010

"Superman' tells false story about Emily's school

"Waiting for Superman" tells the stories of five students said to be desperate to escape their “failing” public schools. But in at least one case, that of Emily Jones, the story told isn't true.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  caroline grannan, davis guggenheim, emily jones, public school, waiting for superman

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010

Ravitch on how wrong 'Superman' really is

Education historian Diane Ravitch critiques the most basic things that Davis Guggenheim got wrong in 'Waiting for Superman.'

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, davis guggenheim, diane ravitch, naep, proficient, standardized tests, waiting for superman

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 10/22/2010

Kohn: The pretend reformers

Alfie Kohn writes: " Real education reform would require us to consider the elimination of many features that we’ve come to associate with school, so perhaps the reluctance to take such suggestions seriously is just a specific instance of the 'whatever is, is right' bias that psychologists keep documenting."

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 10/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Alfie Kohn, Alfie Kohn, Alfie Kohn, Alfie Kohn, Alfie Kohn | Tags:  alfie kohn, davis guggenheim, duncan, george bush, george w. bush, joel k lein, obama, school reform, seymour papert, waiting for superman

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/20/2010

The Chamber of Commerce's flawed 'Superman' school reform guide

In a shameless act of movie flacking, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce just published a guide for business leaders on school reform that is linked to and reinforces the skewed vision of public education portrayed in the movie “Waiting for Superman.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  batman, business leaders, business leaders and school reform, chamber of commerce, charter schools, clark kent, davis guggenheim, effective teachers, finland and teachers, reform guide, school reform, superman, superman and clark kent, teach for america, waiting for superman, what superman would do

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/18/2010

Why 'Superman' film should be 'Waiting for Batman'

A veteran teacher writes that Davis Guggenheim mixed up his superheroes and should have named his film "Waiting for Superman" after Batman.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  batman, davis guggenheim, heroes, superheroes, superman, susan graham, teacher leaders network

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/14/2010

Radical idea: Public schools aren't an awful mess

A longtime educator writes about public education: "Backed into a corner, beat up and wildly uneven in quality, yes." But an unmitigated disaster? No.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  ariana huffington, arne duncan, gerald bracey, guest bloggers, hurricane katrina, katrina nation, nancy flanagan, pisa, public education, school reform, teachers, waiting for superman, wendy puriefoy

Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 10/11/2010

Obama, the 'Superman' movie flack?

President Obama is welcoming to the White House the five young students who star in "Waiting for Superman." Thank you, Mr. President, for drawing more attention to the tendentious movie. The $2 million given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the movie apparently wasn't enough.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:48 PM ET, 10/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  davis guggenheim, kids and obama, matt lauer, obama, obama and sidwell, obama daughters, president obama, sidwell friends school, students go to white house, superman film, superman kids, superman kids at white house, superman movie, waiting for superman, white house

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 10/10/2010

How to save schools right now: Let teachers teach

A teacher writes: "We don’t have to wait for Superman to save our public schools. We can save our schools ourselves. .... The answer can be stated in seven words that even a child could understand: Train teachers well -- then let them teach."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 10/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  dangerous minds, louanne johnson, superman, teachers, waiting for superman

Posted at 02:55 PM ET, 10/08/2010

P.S.: Stephen Colbert blew it on schools, too

It wasn't enough that Lewis Black was unsuccessful in adequately skewering modern school reform on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" earlier this week. Last night Steven Colbert blew it too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:55 PM ET, 10/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  charter schools, colbert nation, comedy central, davis guggenheim, jon stewart, lewis black, school reform, steven colbert, the colbert report, the daily show, waiting for superman

Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 10/07/2010

Jon Stewart and Lewis Black blew it on schools

Lewis Black’s piece on “the public school crisis” that aired on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” the other night left me wondering why education reform hasn’t been more of a high value target for Stewart or, for that matter, Steven Colbert.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:30 PM ET, 10/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  charter schools, colbert report, jon stewart, lewis black, school reform, steven colbert, the colbert report, the daily show, waiting for superman

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 10/07/2010

An education film that gets it (No, not 'Superman')

Educator Mark Phillips writes that real success in improving schools requires attention to the emotional and psychological lives of kids, a point captured in the film "Race to Nowhere." It demonstrates an understanding of real learning that other education films, such as "Waiting for Superman," don't.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 10/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  madeleine levine, race to nowhere, school reform, the cartel, the lottery, waiting for superman

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 10/04/2010

What public school teachers really need

A teacher at the SEED Public Charter School in Washington D.C., which was featured in the film "Waiting for Superman," explains what makes his school work for teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:26 PM ET, 10/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  center for teaching quality, certified teachers, charter schools, dan brown, davis guggenheim, guest bloggers, school reform, seed charter, seed public charter school, seed school, superman, superman film, waiting for superman

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/30/2010

The strange media coverage of Obama's education policies

School reform has suddenly caught the attention of mainstream news organizations in a big way. Why aren't they more skeptical about President Obama's reform agenda?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  $100 million newark, education nation, journalism, nbc, school reform, waiting for superman, zuckerberg

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/28/2010

Strengths and weaknesses of 'Superman'

Educator Mark Phillips writes that there are notable strengths to "Waiting for Superman," but it is too much like a "Superman" film, replete with heroes and villains, hostile threats and romanticized outcomes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  al gore, an inconvenient truth, charter schools, davis guggenheim, the lottery, waiting for superman

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 09/27/2010

Willingham: 'Superman' is entertainment, nothing more

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham says that in its quest for movie simplicity, "Waiting for Superman" Wa

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 09/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  back to the future, dan willingham, michael j. fox, school reform, waiting for superman

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/25/2010

Season of the education film: Do they help or hurt?

We are in the season of the educational documentary. There has been a lot written about several films, including "Waiting for Superman," but the real question is what happens after the final credits roll. Will there be any lasting impact?

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  education documentaries, education films, race to nowhere, school reform, the cartel, the lottery, waiting for superman

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 09/24/2010

Meier: White knights and false villains in education

Prominent education reformer Deborah Meier writes: "We're now entering the age when "tough love" is the plot when it comes to teachers and parents. Only it's they who we need to be tough on. It's all those smart young people who went into teaching in the late 1960s and '70s (some to avoid the draft) with their permissive spoiled-brat histories who become the villains of the new wave of school-based romances. Neither tough-love imposed by elite Ivy League grads nor the generous-love imposed by elite draft-dodgers—forgive the unfair labels—will do."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 09/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Deborah Meier, Deborah Meier, Deborah Meier | Tags:  deb meier, deborah meier, diane ravitch, ivy league, school reform, school reformers, tough love, waiting for superman

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 09/21/2010

Oprah and her warrior woman, Michelle Rhee

When Oprah Winfrey aired “Waiting For Superman - The Movie That Can Transform America’s Schools,” on her television show, viewers should have realized that they were watching an entertainment show with a show woman -- not an educator -- as host. Guests Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates and Davis Guggenheim all played their parts, not letting facts get in the way.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 09/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  bill gates, bill gates and oprah, d.c. schools, davis guggenheim, guggenheim film, michelle rhee, michelle rhee and oprah winfrey, oprah, oprah and gates and rhee, oprah and rhee, oprah show, oprah winfrey, rhee on oprah, school reform and rhee, waiting for superman, waiting for superman and rhee, will rhee go?, will rhee stay?

Posted at 05:30 PM ET, 09/16/2010

While we wait for ‘Superman,’ let's focus on teaching

he founding director of a center that fosters best teaching practices saw "Waiting for Superman" and writes: "Conventional thinking tells us the best way to improve teacher effectiveness is to remove the ineffective teachers and replace them with effective ones. No doubt, this strategy is needed. But if we’re going for a fundamental shift in what we expect from schools, then a wholesale cast change won’t be the fix we imagine. We’ll risk ending up with a new batch of well-intentioned, but improperly prepared players in a flawed system."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:30 PM ET, 09/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  center for inspired teaching, firing teachers, how to fix schools, inspired teachers, inspired teaching, professional development, school reform, superman movie, teacher development, teachers, waiting for superman

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 09/16/2010

Why 'Waiting for Superman' premiere was chilling

Something chilling happened at the Washington D.C. premiere of "Waiting for Superman" that involved Michelle Rhee and the A-list audience.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 PM ET, 09/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, al franken, arne duncan, charter schools, d.c. schools, david axelrod, fenty and gray, george miller, melody barnes, michelle rhee, movie premiere, obama and refoms, obama reform, president obama and school reform, research and education, research on charter schools, rhee and gray, superman film, superman premiere, teachers and unions, vincent gray, waiting for superman, what will rhee do?, when will rhee leave?, who will replace rhee

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 06/03/2010

Movies and School Reform: Lessons from ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

By Frederick M. Hess. I can’t recall how many times over the years I’ve heard from school reformers, "We need our own ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ " You know, a cinematic indictment of the educational status quo jarring enough to stir a lethargic public. Well, all of a sudden, we’ve got a whole bunch of them, and we’re about to see how much they matter.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 06/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers | Tags:  documentaries on education, education movies, education reform, frederick hess, guest bloggers, movies and school reform, the cartel and movie, the lottery and movie, waiting for superman