Sunday, July 10, 2011

Albuquerque screening of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" Is a Hit

One of the major goals of the film has been to activate people. And the results have been overwhelming as educators and parents all over the nation - and beyond - have been organizing showings in libraries, schools, community centers and actual theaters as below - does that qualify us for academy award consideration? But really, the fact that 143 people came out on a Saturday (with others turned away) is a sign that the ed deform game of trick or treat is failing and inspiring a counter reaction. I got back from Chicago to this wonderful email to GEM from a teacher in Albuquerque:
I just returned home from a sold out screening of TITBWFS----we got a fantastic response!  I ordered a copy from you several weeks ago after I read about the movie on Susan Ohanian's website.  When I ordered the movie, I called Keif, the owner of our local independent movie house, Guild Cinema, to see if they would be interested in screening the film.  Keif generously agreed to screen it at his one available slot which was today.  Keif promoted the movie on his website and weekly newsletter, while I told and emailed everyone I knew.  The small theater holds 140 people.  143 people got to see it while several were turned away!  I printed the Real Reform pamphlet along with some websites to inspire change and distributed these to the audience.  The movie received a healthy round of applause at the end.  Many people stayed for the short discussion afterwards.  Those who stayed were deeply moved by the movie and wanted to send it to our elected officials and show it to their school communities.  I stressed the importance of communicating the message of the movie to everyone we know. 

Keif charged $3 for tickets today---he kept $1/ticket for the theater, and donated the rest to GEM.  I will be sending you a check for $285 next week.  It was an overwhelming success and I thank you for your good, profoundly important work.

Francesca Blueher
Instructional Coach
Montezuma Elementary School
Albuquerque, NM 

Susan Ohanian who has inspired people as a leading resistance fighter for a long time (and will be marching with GEM in DC on July 30 the Save Our Schools march sent me this email to her from Francesca.
Dear Susan,
I have been wanting to write you for some time about how much I have been inspired by your website. Since I started getting your blog a few months ago, I have devoured every newsletter----the articles provide me the necessary fuel for speaking out about the ravages our schools are presently undergoing---thank you.

I just got home from the Albuquerque screening of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman", which I helped organize. I first learned of this film from your website and ordered it immediately. The screening was an enormous success. Following is the letter I sent to friends and family informing them of the screening and the note I sent to Grassroots Education Movement today after the screening.

Again, thank you for your righteous, revolutionary work!

Francesca Blueher

Dear Friends and Family,

I am so excited to invite you to the Albuquerque premier of the teacher made documentary, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman ("TITBWFS"). This film passionately underscores ideas of true educational reform which come from teachers, students, and parents, while detailing the ravaging effects of poverty on children and their education. This is an independently made movie that depends on interested individuals to show it to their communities. I ordered the movie and the Guild Cinema kindly agreed to show it on July 9th at 1:00 pm.

Please let me tell you a little bit about why I was compelled to bring this movie to Albuquerque. As a teacher and Instructional Coach at Montezuma Elementary I have seen first-hand the impact that current educational reforms are having at our university area school. The combined effects of federal policies (No Child Left Behind) and poverty are devastating to our children. When my own children went to Montezuma 20 years ago, 35% of our students received free or reduced lunch. Today, over 76% percent of our children qualify for the Free and Reduced lunch program. Over one third of our students have a Body Mass Index percentage that puts them in the obese category. In the last 10 years, more of our children have been impacted by a parent or parents who are incarcerated. CYFD social workers are weekly visitors to our school, sometimes seeing 2 or 3 children from different families in one day. This is why I thought it important to bring this film to the Albuquerque community.

Following is a small press release for the film:

The Grassroots Education Movement presents a new documentary, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, written and directed by New York City public school teachers and parents, in response to Davis Guggenheim's highly misleading film, Waiting for "Superman". Waiting for "Superman" would have audiences believe that the current educational reforms of free-market competition, standardized tests, destroying teacher unions, and the proliferation of charter schools are just what this country needs to create great public schools while The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman highlights the real-life experiences of public school parents, students, and educators and shows how these so-called reforms are actually ravaging public education. The film discusses the kinds of real reforms in schools and in society as a whole that are urgently needed to truly transform education in this country.

I strongly feel that when we have a greater awareness of our educational policy and how it affects our children it can be the key to implementing true educational reform (smaller class size, healthy school lunches, a rich, culturally relevant curriculum for all students) that is good for our children. This is where you come in. Please come and view this movie to look at a different perspective of school reform. Keif, owner of The Guild Cinema, is generously showing the documentary there at a minimal cost to you---$3.00---the majority of which will go to the organization that made the movie. Here are the details of the screening:

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman
Saturday, July 9th
1:00 pm
Guild Cinema
3405 Central NE
$3.00/ticket

The movie will end at 2:15, discussion/questions after

Please share this information with anyone you know who is concerned about our childrens' future. Let me know if you have any questions.

Francesca Blueher
Instructional Coach
Montezuma Elementary

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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 right for news bits.

5 comments:

  1. Do you know how much a copy of the movie costs and how to place an order?

    See you in D.C.?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Norm,

    Do you remember when Mulgrew announced at a DA last year that "we will do a movie of our own," after discussing WFS and Oprah Winfrey?

    What happened? NADA.

    GEM has done more with a low budget film to dispel the myths of the ed deform movement than the mighty UFT/AFT! How fantastic is that?

    The film is awesome. I will hold a screening in September for colleagues and students as well as for many anti-ed-deformer-aspiring principals throughout NYC.

    Keep up the amazing work!

    -Keith Moon

    ReplyDelete
  3. I thought Keith Moon was the drummer in the Who. I guess he didn't die of an accidental drug overdose but became a NYC teacher and friend of Norm. Who Are You? Who, who, who, who?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love these visits from Unity people making - what is it, 150 or 200 grand now?
    Keith signed up for his copy of the movie at
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dF96cXlyaUE0NlBDRlJxNTZ2VFFkVGc6MQ

    When is the UFT showing the "movie" they made? Feel free to show ours - but I bet you won't.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sharon
    the movie is free. We'll have copies in DC.

    ReplyDelete

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