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Oprah Show- Waiting For "Superman" (truth about teachers' unions) ^ | 9-20-10 | Oprah

Posted on 09/21/2010 11:21:00 AM PDT by STARWISE

It's the movement that could revolutionize America's schools.

•The shocking state of our schools

•Meet the children from the film


~ ~ ~

School Choice: What Are Your Options?


School choice options available to parents have increased dramatically in recent years. There's a growing national sentiment that promoting competition in public education may spur schools to improve and that parents who invest energy in choosing a school will continue to be involved in their child's education.

How much choice do you have?

It depends. The amount of choice varies from one school district to another and varies from state to state. In most instances, it depends on supply and demand, and schools that are well regarded are generally in high demand. So if you are hoping to transfer your child to a popular school outside your home district, or a popular charter or magnet school, you may find it difficult.

What Are Your Options?

Your Neighborhood School

Generally, your first option is your neighborhood school. Each public school district sets up its own rules and boundaries for each school in the district, so it's best to check with your local district to find out which school your child will be assigned to and what the rules are for attending charter schools, magnet schools or other schools within or outside your local district.

Be aware that school districts sometimes change the neighborhood boundaries for schools to balance enrollment, so don't assume that if you move in across the street from a school that your child will automatically go to that school.

Charter Schools

One of the most significant changes in public education in recent years has been the growth of the charter school movement. Charter schools are public schools that are liberated from some of the traditional school regulations required by the state. These schools are bound by charter agreements granted by local school boards. If they don't meet the requirements of their charter, they can be shut down.

Charter school enrollment is voluntary and is not governed by neighborhood boundaries, which means your child can choose to attend any charter school within your district, or outside your district, so long as there is space available. Schools that are in high demand usually have a lottery to determine who will be eligible to attend. Learn more about charter schools.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Education; History; Society
KEYWORDS: billgates; charterschools; districtofcolumbia; illinois; nea; oprahwinfrey; publicschools; teachersunions
The Shocking State of Our Schools


It's the documentary everyone's talking about. Waiting For "Superman" is a gripping story about the state of public school systems in America, told through the eyes of five hopeful students. Each is eager to get an education, but in a system riddled with ineffective teachers, staggering dropout rates and schools that are literally falling apart, the odds are more than stacked against them.

Meet each of the five children and read their stories.

Their only hope is to enter a lottery to win the opportunity to enter a high-performing charter school that will provide them with the education they need to succeed.

Waiting For "Superman" director and Oscar® winner Davis Guggenheim, the man who also brought us An Inconvenient Truth, hopes this story starts a nationwide conversation about America's public schools.

~ ~ ~

The person on the panel who was THE MOST impressive and determined to change the face of public school education is Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the Washington, DC public schools. She is relentless, fearless .. in getting rid of bad teachers, and fighting the octopus hold regarding tenure that the unions have on the schools. Just WOW .. and in DC.

~ ~ ~


"In this shocking scenario, principals simply trade off their bad teachers—their lemons—to principals at other schools, hoping that the lemon they receive isn't as bad as the lemon they got rid of.

"Why can't you just fire bad teachers?" Oprah asks.

"It's actually incredibly difficult to fire an ineffective teacher. You have to basically meet a criminal standard," Michelle says. In one case, Michelle says a teacher in her district would disappear from the classroom, skip work day after day and fall asleep in class, but when the district tried to terminate her, she only earned a 10-day suspension.

"Finally, last year we were able to terminate this person, but it was after [she] had been in the classroom for 10 years," Michelle says."


I was STUNNED that Oprah actually ventured into the sacrosanct union terroritory of her buddy, -0 .. actually shocked! I was prepared for her to detour or lightly mention that issue. But no .. she did couch some things to repeat how many good teachers there are, but there was no denying her outrage at the reality that public school teachers are tenured for life and CAN'T BE FIRED, after employment of only 2 years. Her belief and devotion to solid education for children is the saving grace here, for sure.

Yes, this film is done by the "Inconvenient Truth," guy and all, but it was truly compelling and a very disturbing and eye opening show.

Anyone with kids or grandkids in public schools or looking at charter schools, should definitely read the info at the links.

1 posted on 09/21/2010 11:21:06 AM PDT by STARWISE
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I suspect the “solution” will be MORE federal involvement in the school.

Here are the solutions: Free market competition. Local control. Less federal bureaucratic involvement. Home schooling.

2 posted on 09/21/2010 11:24:18 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat
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I was STUNNED that Oprah actually ventured into the sacrosanct union terroritory of her buddy, -0 .. actually shocked!

- the only reason she cares is that it disproportionately affect inner city yutes (IE: minorities) She came to the right conclusion for the wrong reason, but at least she's starting to see the light.

3 posted on 09/21/2010 11:24:57 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: Recovering_Democrat

I’m willing to bet in basic subjects (reading, writing, and arithmetic) kids were better educated than quite a few college freshmen.

4 posted on 09/21/2010 11:25:45 AM PDT by utherdoul
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To: onyx; penelopesire; maggief; hoosiermama; seekthetruth; television is just wrong; jcsjcm; BP2; ...

I sure don’t ping for Oprah typically, but the topic
of public/charter schools/unions was well covered
and worthwhile .. especially what’s happening in
the DC schools.

5 posted on 09/21/2010 11:26:03 AM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
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I read the TIME or Newsweek (can’t tell them apart now) article on the documentary. The “Inconvenient Truth” guy has two young daughters of his own and admits to sending them to private school. It mentions that Randi Weingarten—head of AFT—the #2 teacher’s union, comes off as an ogre. Overall, it shows that public opinion has turned against the all-powerful NEA and AFT in a big way and that Dem politicians and the Lib media are starting to follow their lead.

School reform was once called “the civil rights issue of the nineties”, well, it’s proving a lot more intractable.

6 posted on 09/21/2010 11:27:50 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju

Michelle Rhee unfortunately will be canned by the new mayor of is hoping she comes to Atlanta to clean up the mess down here.

7 posted on 09/21/2010 11:30:55 AM PDT by BubbaJunebug
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This movie is a MUST SEE.

It really tells the truth about WHY our schools are failing. And let me tell you what, the Unions are going to HATE this film.

8 posted on 09/21/2010 12:04:52 PM PDT by Danae (Analnathrach, orth' bhais's bethad, do che'l de'nmha.)
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To: Danae

I sure get that impression.

Have you seen it ?

9 posted on 09/21/2010 12:15:34 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
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To: Danae

The revelation that the principals trade each
other’s lemon teachers was astounding.

Lemon Dance .. Turkey Trot

They all just keep being rotated .. and still
in the system!

10 posted on 09/21/2010 12:16:45 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
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11 posted on 09/21/2010 12:31:28 PM PDT by Sergio (If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would he make a sound?)
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To: STARWISE; AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; blueyon; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks STARWISE. While looking for online pics of Michelle Rhee, no reason, I found an artless moustache pic of her here, at “desist”:

Council Gives Rhee Power to Say ‘You’re Fired!’

12 posted on 09/21/2010 4:24:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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