Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Movie Trailer to be Released- The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman

There's been lots of excitement in GEMville over the last few days. We finally finished the trailer for our film last night and expect to release it within the next 48 hours. We are also working on our performance art and will announce a rehearsal and follow-up performance tomorrow of our song "Will the Real Reformers Please Stand Up?"

I got a call from a teacher going home on the bus yesterday who said she was so excited when she saw the lyrics. We hope people can join us as we announce the dates. Imagine a performance of hundreds of people on the steps of Tweed? Maybe only a dream but not impossible.

As for the film, now that the trailer is done we have to start editing the massive amount of footage we have accumulated. There is a story line being developed. We expect the film to run about 28 minutes and hope to make it available to schools and groups that request it - would be a great lunchtime event. We're aiming for an end of October release but since all the other people involved other than me are working educators, we will see how it shapes up. And then I also got a part as Vinnie the whinney, whimp, henpecked card player in Rockaway Theatre Company's upcoming production of The Odd Couple and rehearsals are starting - and all the other actors have been in scads of shows and this is my first. So why do I feel that I never retired?

I'm going to be at the UFT Chapter Leader meeting today passing out the new GEM newsletter and more info about the film and performances so stop by and say hello if you will be there.

Here is what I posted the other day.

Will the Real Reformers Please Stand Up?

Real Reformers have been working to counter the Waiting for Superman and MSNBC Education Nation (see NYC Educator today: Ship of Fools.)
GEM has been organizing around this and working with parents and teachers around the city to produce out own movie. Look for the trailer to be released at the GEMNYC blog and Ed Notes in a few days. GEM will also be organizing performances at various locations in the city of the eminem song "Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?" with lyrics rewritten by the GEM crew. While singing, some people will stand up for Real Reform with these signs:
7 "real reforms" 
Real Reform #1:  Smaller class size

Real Reform #2:  Excellent community school for ALL

Real Reform #3:  More teaching less testing
Real Reform #4:  Parent empowerment and leadership

Real Reform #5:  Equitable funding for all schools

Real Reform #6:  Anti-racist education policies
Real Reform #7:  Culturally relevant curriculum

Here are the lyrics. Start warbling (and if you want to know when and where these "surprise" performances will be taking place, email me off line.)

May, I have your attention please?
May, I have your attention please?
Will the real reformers please stand up?
I repeat, will the real reformers please stand up?
We might have a problem here…

These deformers don’t gotta real plan in their pack, but we do
We reject their agenda and you should too!

You think they have ideas for real reform?
Half them been looking for ways to make cash since they were born.

“But guys, what if its not lies, wouldn’t it be great?” (nerdy voice)
Why, so these guys can sell their charter plate?
Mess with our kids’ future fate?
Naw, Superman is here and not too late. (sarcastic)

Klein, Rhee and Duncan better switch us jobs,
So we can put an end to those hedge fund hogs.

They put teachers on blast in the newspaper?
“ all you need is quality teachers…. deerrrr!” (mocking voice)

We will expose their agenda and open your eyes
And show the world their drive to privatize… (yell:  ahhhhhhh)

sick of the law and pr groups all you do harms kids
So we have been sent here to expose you,
And there’s a million reformers just like us,
Who teach like us, who have kids like us,
who care like us, real reformers for just’us
just trust us, parents and teachers unite like us…

Cause we the real reformers, yes the real reformers
All you other deformers are just speculating
So won’t the real reformers please stand up,
Please stand up, please stand up? (reapeat 2x)


  1. Isn't the UFT Chapter Leaders Meeting supposed to be for Chapter Leaders?

    You love crashing those meetings.

  2. Norm,

    The dream is important and very possible. Our union and so many other institutions would have us believe that this is the best of possible worlds right now and to be "realists." In actuality it is their ability to dream and imagine which is impaired. In truth we are asked to accept the best of all possible worst worlds.

    Surely this must change.

    John Powers

  3. "You love crashing those meetings."

    You should have asked me for my credentials. Nothing changes. You're still an asshole.


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