Don't ask me why I am sitting down to blog about a brilliant film at midnight. I have no idea. I should be sleeping right now. Clearly that is not happening. Moving on...
Following suggestions from my sister and a few friends, I went and saw Waiting For Superman today. I'm extremly glad I did. I've worked in school systems before, both private and public, but this film opened my eyes to the problems our education system faces. The stats are shocking, and yes, depressing. Simply put, our kids are not getting the education they deserve, or the education they need to survive. Our nations scores are among the lowest of the developed countries. This is not something to be proud of and this is NOT something we can ignore. We have to do something.
Here's the thing...everyone needs to see this movie. I don't care who you are, what political party you belong too. If you have an ounce of concern for the state of our country, you should be in the theatre right NOW watching this movie. We should all care about public education because it effects all of us. Without a proper education system, we will fail in the areas of poverty, the economy, even health care. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. Just by going to see it you will already be helping, because you are making yourself more aware of the problems.
What else can we do? Volunteer. Don't lie to me and tell me you don't have a free hour or two that you could be using tutoring a child in need. In some of these schools, kids are two or three grade levels behind, because no one is pushing them. Poor teachers are allowing kids to just slip through the cracks, not bothering to get them extra help or, in some cases, even teach them at all. It may not seem fair to you that you are being asked to pick up the slack, but it's also not fair that kids are not being taught. We wonder why there are so many drop outs. It's not the neighborhoods or the families..it's the schools themselves. So spend some time tutoring, or mentoring. Set an example, influence a kid. Help them prepare for college. Do whatever you can to show them how absolutley necessary education is in our country.
You know, this movie made me so very grateful for schools like Detroit Cristo Rey...and the rest of the Cristo Rey Network. The movie spent a great deal of time talking about teachers who simply do not care, know they will not get fired and therefore slack off. You don't see that at Cristo Rey. Cristo Rey was designed specifically for low income students who cannot afford a private education. With it's work study program tuition is knocked down and made affordable. So, these kids are getting a challenging, college prep education along with work experience for an affordable price. On top of that, they are getting amazing teachers and staff who care about the students more than their salary. I encouarge you to find out more about the Cristo Rey story by visiting the national website- http://www.cristoreynetwork.org/ . Cristo Rey schools could be the superman we are waiting for.
Obviously, I am quite passionate about this, because it breaks my heart to know that kids are dropping out of schools because people don't care about them. Bull. The future of our country depends on these kids. It is our duty as adults to change things. It starts now.