We have been so excited that the film we started working on 14 months ago as a short you-tube project not only turned into an hour long feature film, but since the premiere in May (with Diane Ravitch as our guest speaker) the film made by NYC school workers and parents and without any promotion other than word of mouth and the internet has shown such staying power - except here in NYC where the UFT Administration continues its boycott of the film refusing to mention the film in the NY Teacher or in any other venue.
In the meantime, unions all over the nation, have been showing the film.
The Chicago Teachers Union has been a big supporter.
The LA Teachers union has held screenings and has contacted GEM for permission (they don't need it) to reproduce the film for every chapter leader to show to their school.
Here here in NYC we have to do this one school at a time.
PS 261 in Boerum Hill will be showing the film on Nov. 9 as part of a campaign to inform the locals about the truth about charters.
Last Thursday 60 people at NYU showed up for the film and a rousing discussion afterwards.
Next Monday the film will be shown at Teachers College at 4PM
On Nov. 9th I'm flying up to Cortland State College for a panel. They are showing the film on campus this week and next.
Hofstra will show the film after the New Year.
The Connecticut State Teachers Association held a showing and sent us a check for $500 as a donation.
Boston U did the same as did the British Columbia Teachers Fed.
Thanks to Julie Woodward for the review from The Nation below. Julie has been an incredible activist over the years as one of the founding members of the Independent Community of Educators (ICE) and we worked as partners for many years. Since she retired last spring, we haven't heard much from her. We're hoping she at the very least keeps her toe in the water in the battle against the ed deformers.
FROM THE NATION Nov. 7th, on the page called "Noted." (p.5), this is the 2nd story (middle column) on the page.
TEACHERS TAKE ON ‘SUPERMAN’: As two recent documentaries make clear, it’s not the abysmal state of the US education system that’s up for debate when only 12 percent of African-American boys in the fourth grade read at grade level, but rather the solution.
The influential documentary Waiting for “Superman,” released in September 2010 to critical acclaim, made the case for charter schools. A prescient complement to the Occupy Wall Street movement, with a demand early in the film to get “Wall Street out” of public schools, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for “Superman”, released in May by the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), is a “no budget at all” response that argues that the charter movement’s push to privatize public schools is a move to corrupt one of America’s foundational tenets: access to equal and fair public education. Narrated by Brian Jones and Julie Cavanagh, New York City public school teachers, the film goes after Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a nonprofit umbrella organization that runs three charter schools and is featured heavily in Waiting for “Superman.” It points out that a large portion of HCZ’s money comes from corporate sponsors. In September 2010, just as Waiting for “Superman” was being released, Goldman Sachs donated $20 million to HCZ. Of its seventeen board members, eleven are affiliated with major financial institutions.
The film also disputes the claim in Waiting for “Superman” that unions are responsible for protecting bad teachers. Its most salient segment looks at Finland’s education system, celebrated in Waiting for “Superman,” and reveals that 98 percent of teachers in Finland are members of the Trade Union of Education.
The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for “Superman” offers a list of ten (often vague) reforms to the current system, including “Parent and Teacher Empowerment and Leadership” and “Democratic and Social Justice Unionism.” During the Q&A session at a screening in New York on October 14, audience member and high school social worker Kathe Karlson voiced concern that if the unfocused group of organizations affiliated with Jones and Cavanagh’s GEM “didn’t come together,” they would simply “repeat [themselves] for a generation or two.” A member of GEM responded, “Look at how they’re doing it on Occupy Wall Street. It works.” Perhaps the Superman we’ve been waiting for is Occupy Wall Street.
To order the DVD "Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman"DVD requests from have come in from ALL 50 STATES and....6 continents!!!
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on the right for important bits.