Film: Waiting for Superman

Film: Waiting for Superman

(Netflix DVD, on reserve at Ayala Library)

This is a disturbing film about the education system and the resistance to change.  Students are caught in the middle.  Before you start watching this film, recall

your high school education experience – both good and bad parts. Then think about taking on the role of a teacher – what kind of teacher would you be?  What would it

be like to have been your teacher in your classroom?

At the end of your documentary review, connecting the film to course content, please address these questions.

1.  According to the movie, what are the problems in education? List them below

2.  According to the movie, how should the problems in our educational system be fixed? –

3.  To what extent are parents and families responsible for student success?

4.  To what extent do you agree with the movie’s argument that teachers are the main factor behind school success or failure?

5.  What factors do you think should be taken into consideration when evaluating teacher performance and determining pay levels?

6.  Do you agree with Ayers’ argument that student poverty and lack of school funding play a major role in school success or failure?  Why or why not?

7.  What do you think are the essential skills that a young person needs to prepare for a full and productive life after high school?

8.  What can a school community do to create an environment that values and prioritizes reading? What is the role of parents, school staff and community members in

fostering a culture of reading at school and at home? How might you foster a reading culture at your school?

9.  What did you learn from watching the film that you didn’t know before? What questions would you ask the filmmakers?

10.  Several major stories are presented in the film: the history of public education in America, and the stories of individual children and families striving for the

best possible education.  Which story or stories touched you the most?

11.  Michelle Rhee is now living in California. Does California need Michelle Rhee?
(Here is an article:

Why or why not?


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