Waiting for “Superman” is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD!
I suggest everyone see Waiting for Superman. This documentary examines many issues regarding our children’s future in the United States educational system. Waiting for Superman follows 5 incredible children and their personal education experiences within their local school systems. All the families share one common thread- searching for educational alternatives contrary to what their children currently receive.
This newly released DVD paints a dismal picture darkened by failing student performance statistics, failing tenured teachers who are shuffled from school to school and the children who want to learn but are at a demographical and socioeconomic disadvantage. There are poor performing teachers under the protective wing of powerful teacher unions. Many children wish for that lucky break, anxiously awaiting their number to be called from a school’s lottery system.
Waiting for Superman spoke in volumes to me. The public school system here in California is in crisis mode. LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country. My husband and I regularly talk about the schools in our neighborhood and are looking into alternative public schools like charter schools and magnet schools for our daughter. Our neighborhood schools test poorly so we’re looking to move into areas that offer stronger performing schools. My daughter is 3 and I already cringe about her possibly attending a LAUSD school. My husband is a dedicated and hard working teacher for a charter school in LA. He sees the challenges facing impoverished families that send their children to his school. He gets frustrated with the way regular public schools operate and the reasons families seek out charters.
Fortunately, the DVD does offer a glimmer of hope. We have to be careful not to bash teachers. There are “Supermen and Superwomen” who have a vested interest in our children. In the movie, one highlighted school is a college prep charter school called KIPP. Offering outstanding educators and longer days at school working with dedicated students have resulted in successful, high performing KIPP graduates who eventually move on to college. KIPP proves that even the kids who statistically don’t make it through still do.
Waiting for Superman is an extremely important film, with shocking facts and statistics showcasing monumental problems. I finished the DVD discouraged but also encouraged. And it’s all because of the children. Parents have to remember to take a pro-active roll to do their research to find the services that suit their children. If my family and I remain in Los Angeles we will definitely have to do serious research to find those LAUSD schools that have proven success marked by a strong parent-teacher-student bond. I know it can be a daunting task for parents who are struggling to do the work, but who else is going to take care of our kids?
Each DVD comes with a $25 DonorsChoose.org gift card. Donorschoose.org is an online charity where you connect to classrooms that are in need. I spent quite some time reviewing the various projects. Requests ranged anywhere from digital cameras to document lessons to a new rug for the kids to sit on. What floored me were the requests for basic essentials like pencils and erasers. My donation went to a class in Massachusetts who needed art supply materials. I’m formerly from MA and that state will always hold a special place in my heart.
One of the “Top 10 Movies of 2010” – Time Magazine
“One of the year’s best films.”—Scott Bowles, USA Today
FROM THE FILMMAKERS BEHIND THE OSCAR WINNING FILM
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH COMES AN ENGAGING, INSPIRING AND PROVOCATIVE LOOK AT PUBLIC EDUCATION AND
THE EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE WORKING TO CHANGE IT
The film depicts the moving and poignant struggles of real-life students and their families and the efforts of educators and reformers who are working to find viable solutions within a dysfunctional system. A stirring, must-see clarion call that has left audiences inspired and motivated to make a difference, WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” is truly “a powerful, passionate, revolution-inducing documentary” (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly).
WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” is a Paramount Pictures release of a Participant Media presentation in association with Walden Media. The film is written by Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball.
“I think that every kid, no matter where they are born or what they have been given in life, deserves a great education and a piece of the American dream. The idea of education reform becomes a lot less abstract and a lot more compelling when you see these beautiful kids and realize all their potential,” said director Davis Guggenheim. “Now there are reformers out there who are defying the odds and proving it’s entirely possible to create outstanding schools even in the most troubled neighborhoods. That’s what drove me to tell this story and to make this movie.”
“Even if you don’t have kids, you should care about public education,” said Lesley Chilcott, producer of WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”. “If we want to solve global warming, poverty, health care and the economy, we need to have an educated society. Education is ground zero for tackling all these issues.”
In addition to the inspirational film, the Blu-ray and DVD feature four additional stories of real students and teachers, commentary by Davis Guggenheim and Lesley Chilcott, a conversation with Davis Guggenheim, the making of John Legend’s original song “Shine”, which was composed specifically for the film, a look at what’s changed in education since the movie was filmed and more.
DonorsChoose.org & Get Schooled Donation Programs
As part of an effort to assist viewers in finding a way to make a difference in public schools across the country, DonorsChoose.org will give consumers a $25 credit for each WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” Blu-ray or DVD purchase that can be donated to any classroom project listed on DonorsChoose.org. This generous donation exceeds the expected retail price of the DVD. Consumers simply visit the website, select a project and then enter their unique code to make the donation.
DonorsChoose.org was created in 2000 by a teacher who sensed that many people would like to help distressed public schools, but were frustrated by a lack of influence over their donations. DonorsChoose.org allows people to help fund a specific project—all of which are submitted by real teachers and carefully vetted by the DonorsChoose.org team—based on the class location, the subject of the request, the level of poverty in the region or any other criteria they choose. Once a project is fully funded by donations, DonorsChoose.org purchases the requested classroom materials and ships them directly to the school. The recipients then provide photos of the project and thank you letters to the donors.
In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” DVD and Blu-ray will benefit Get Schooled, an independent non-profit organization founded by Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Get Schooled uses the power of media and popular culture to motivate and inspire young people, their families and teachers to improve high school graduation rates and college-going rates. It works in close partnership with principals of high-need high schools around the country. To find out more, visit www.getschooled.com.
WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” Blu-ray &DVD
The WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles. The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, Spanish 5.1 Surround and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The discs include the following special features, all of which are in HD on the Blu-ray:
- Changing the Odds – A poignant look into the challenges students and teachers have faced within the public school system and the successful programs that have been put in place to change the face of public education in the U.S.
- Updates—A look at what’s changed in education since the movie was filmed
- A Conversation with Davis Guggenheim
- The Future is in Our Classrooms
- The Making of “Shine”
- Deleted Scenes—Four additional stories of real-life students and teachers
- Keith and Tiffany
- Locke High and Steve Barr
- Bill Strickland
- The Green Family
- Commentary by director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this giveaway. We did receive a DVD to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.