What happens when the one-time best educational system in the world no longer keeps pace with other countries, students fall through the cracks, and measures of success in school continue to drop?
These are some of the reasons that many parents begin homeschooling, but they are also key elements that are examined by a new documentary that will hit the theaters this fall.
Waiting for Superman was acclaimed in January, 2010 at the Sundance 2010 Film Awards with the Audience Award for Documentary for its expose on the failing American educational system. The film was directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth which earned him an Oscar), and explores the premise that each generation will be less educated than the ones before. Several students are followed in this documentary, and the stories are interspersed with scathing statistics:
- The cost of funding one student in high school has doubled since 1971, yet the academic results have stagnated during the same time period.
- By 2020, the US economy will have 120 million jobs which will need highly skilled applicants, but the school system will only produce 50 million who are qualified for those positions.
- Among 30 developed countries, the US ranks 25th in math and 21st in science
Although Waiting for Superman will not open in local theaters until September 24, Davis Guggenheim and his crew are wanting people to get involved in the discussion of this crucial issue now. In order to facilitate dialog, waitingforsuperman.com has begun several initiatives and contact points: