Did you know that in America right now, a teen drops out of high school every 26 seconds? That’s definitely not good news, especially when you consider that high school drop-outs are eight times more likely to go to prison, 50% less likely to vote, more likely to need social welfare assistance, and aren’t eligible for 90% of jobs. So basically, high school drop-outs are continuing the cycle of poverty in the US.
These are just a few of the sobering statistics laid out by the film, Waiting for Superman, which came out last summer and is now available on DVD. The documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim (he directed An Inconvenient Truth), explores what’s wrong with today’s education system that results in millions of kids getting sub-par educations and falling through the cracks. The primary “bad guy” in the film is the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union which, according to the film, cares more about keeping its members employed than making sure kids get a quality education.
Though the film doesn’t propose any quick fixes to dismal state of public education, it is very thought-provoking and sparks discussions about what can and should be done to improve the situation for students everywhere.
At Like a Boss, we love the idea of a film sparking a massive conversation, and better yet, getting people fired up enough to mobilize to create change, so we’re happy to see that the Waiting for Superman website offers concrete courses of action to help inspired viewers get involved in fixing this broken system.
Here are just a few of the local and grassroots strategies passionate public education advocates can do:
- Host a local screening of the DVD to generate more conversation and expand the movement (You can download a DVD House Party Guide on the website)
- Write to your local elected officials letting them know that you demand to have great schools in your community. As a student, your voice will have a lot of weight!
- Write to your Governor and ask that they implement the Common Core Standards in your state, which is set up to ensure a world-class education for everyone.
For more take action ideas, visit Waiting for Superman online. And if you haven’t seen it yet, definitely add this to your Netflix queue…you won’t be disappointed!
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