My Latest Podcast

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 27, 2010

Found here. Because I cannot emphasize it enough, let me say that you really, really, really need to see Waiting for Superman as fast as you possibly can. You need to know just how bad the public education system is in this country. You need to know just how hard it is to fire teachers who regularly fail their students, and that American public schools could quickly become the envy of the world if only we are able to fire the worst performing teachers; never mind actually recruiting superstar teachers to inspire kids. You need to find out what it means to “waltz with the lemons,” “pass the trash,” and “do the turkey trot.” You need to watch as the movie tells you of New York’s famous “rubber room” for teachers who have been accused of incompetence–and significantly worse–and who wait in a room eight hours a day, for as much as three years, before they get a hearing, passing the time reading books and magazines, playing games with other teachers, or just sleeping, all while collecting full pay and benefits. You need to see how charter schools are making a difference, and how we don’t have enough of them to go around, leading to lotteries that disappoint and devastate legions of kids and their families when they announce that there is no room for them in better schools, because there just aren’t enough better schools to go around. You need to see how Randi Weingarten and the teachers’ unions work to frustrate the efforts of reformers to clean up the system, because they put the job security of teachers over and above anything else–including the best interests of parents and kids. And you need to learn–as I did–about “tracking,” and how arbitrary decisions by school bureaucrats ensure that some students get a better education, and better resources, than do others.

It is a civic duty to see this movie. Please take the time to do so.

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