| Sep 29, 2010
"Waiting for Superman (Davis Guggenheim's film about education reform) could have been an “A” film, but despite all its strengths, it is also a naïve one. Its analysis of the problems is often superficial, it’s conclusions and recommendations simplistic and, at times, misguided," says Mark Phillips, professor emeritus of secondary education at San Francisco State University and author of a monthly column on education for the Marin Independent Journal. In Valerie Strauss's "The Answer Sheet" blog in The Washington Post, Phillips continues:
"Ironically, one of the failings of the film is that it is too much like a Superman film, replete with heroes and villains, hostile threats and romanticized outcomes. Like a Hollywood thriller, drama is heightened and less exciting realities ignored.
"Perhaps the biggest hole in the film is represented in one animation scene that shows kids heads being filled with knowledge by a teacher while the narrator says: 'It should be simple, a teacher in a schoolhouse filling their students with knowledge and sending them on their way, but we’ve made it complicated.'
"But WE haven’t made it complicated, Davis! Teaching has become complicated and that’s part of the problem." Read more online.