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What Will Save Our Schools?

Between the severe budget cuts, undervalued teachers and frustrating lotteries, the word failure has almost become synonymous with America's school system. It seems like we need Superman to save it. Hence, the explanation for the title of a documentary coming out September 24 called Waiting for "Superman" (by the same director of An Inconvenient Truth), which examines the sorry state of our schools -- and who we can call on to fix them.

New York magazine wrote a fascinating piece about how the movie came to be -- as well as the roles of major players, including President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten, Chancellor of the D.C. schools Michelle Rhee, and, most arresting, the five students in the movie whose journeys through a lottery system for a chance at attending charter schools are chronicled.

"Superman" is said to be amazing by a few editors who have seen previews of it here at Parenting, and it holds a lot of meaning to us in our commitment to bettering the nation's school (see the title of this blog!). But "Superman" is also special to us because it was the perfect opportunity to think about what we can do, right now, to make our schools better. We wanted to give our readers some kind of instruction -- or "lesson plan" -- to use as a template for their bright ideas...

You'll find the results of this in the October issue of Parenting School Years, and in the companion book to "Superman": Our Lesson Plan for Change. Parenting partnered with the movie and worked with our 51 amazing Mom Congress delegates to develop this plan for you, readers, as a how-to guide for getting your great ideas to improve your schools heard by the right people. We also interviewed education powerhouses like Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Harlem Children's Zone President Geoffrey Canada (featured in “Superman”) to see their take on the top issues plaguing education today. Whether your cause is school lunches, extra-curricular activities, or tutoring services, you can make your plan heard with our Lesson Plan for Change.

See the movie. Get Inspired. Read our interviews with education change makers. Make your lesson plan. Be heard.

Our kids are waiting.