Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mollie Bruhn: Challenging “Waiting for Superman” in Kappan Mag

Our film was not the first nor the only thing to clue people in to the dangers of the corporate reform movement, but “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman” has proven to be an important piece of the ever-growing pushback and effort to preserve public education... Mollie Bruhn in Kappan on the making of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman."
This article is available at PDK for the public until end of February:

Watch the film here or click the tab at Ed Notes.

When Mollie isn't writing she has Max read to her.
When the editor of Kappan, the organ of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association of professional educators, contacted GEM/Real Reform Studios last spring about doing an article on the making of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" many of us were busy with organizing in MORE and Change the Stakes, the two branches that had emerged out of the Grassroots Education Movement - the teacher/UFT oriented MORE and the parent dominated CTS.

There was no time to get back into more film work with Real Reform Studios, especially since two key people, Mollie Bruhn and Darren Marelli were about to have a baby. I offered to start writing the article but as usual got involved with too many things. Once Mollie got settled with new baby Max and also took a child care leave, she picked up the project and did a wonderful job in chronicling the work we did. Mollie is too modest to talk about her enormous impact on shaping the film. Her article captures the great synergy the entire crew developed as we engaged many of the leading people in NYC fighting ed deform in the making of the film.

When we began making the film in August 2010, the deform movement was rising like a rocket. I feel we were amongst the first people out of the box with a powerful deterrent that helped lead the counterattack that has gained so much speed since then.

Kappan has just published Mollie's article.

Challenging “Waiting for Superman”

  1. Mollie Bruhn
+ Author Affiliations
  1. MOLLIE BRUHN is a kindergarten teacher for the New York City Department of Education and was an editor for “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman.”


A group of New York City public school teachers, angry about the depiction of public schools in ‘Waiting for Superman,” decide to make their own film about the realities of the current education reform movement. They persevered even though they had no budget when they started and lacked a background in filmmaking. ‘The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman’ was released in May 2011 and has proven to be an important piece of the ever growing pushback against corporate education reform. 

You can read it here:

Here are a few pics.

1 comment:

  1. The lo-fi nature of the film itself, in addition to the arguments made, is its own touchstone against the slick, polished "Waiting for Superman". I just watched most of the documentary. I thought many strong points were made, mixed in with some off-point or ill-supported ones. But again that just reinforces how this group is ragtag.

    Most compelling points from the movie are:
    —outsiders with no teaching experience but perfect debating points, and a lot of money, are the reformers
    —Geoffrey Canada kicked out his underperforming students (graveyard spiral)
    —two-tiered education system
    —we need evidence that merit pay is actually more effective than other things money could be spent on


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