Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Analysis

After reading Waiting for Superman: How to Save America's Failing Public Schools, I am left feeling slightly discouraged, yet hopeful about our public school systems. To begin, the authors of the non-fiction piece start with discussing the problem of our education system; simply that too many children are being left behind. Especially children from lower-income families, the education system is failing them, resulting in drop-outs and uneducated children. The book discusses the making of the film, which was actually made before the book. Then, the book is a mix of introductions to stories of five different children who are being failed by the education system and excerpts from various professionals. They offer a variety of solutions to the current state of our education system, including: charter schools, better teachers with more accountability, more student involvement, and a focus on global learning. The editor closes the book by calling to action teachers, parents, students, and concerned citizens by listing a variety of steps they can take to help improve the public education system.

In addition, I read the article The Myth of Charter Schools to get a counter viewpoint from the collective views of the book. This article really stressed the idea that charter schools (privately run schools where children are given admission by lottery system) are not a solution to our public education issues. In fact, it highlights that 37% of charter schools are worse than public schools, 46% of charter schools have the same academic gains, and only 17% of charter schools are proven to be better than public schools. The author of this article believes that our education system needs to improve its teacher force. The article ends as the author expresses his gratitude towards our American education system where no one has to win a lottery to be accepted, much like that of a charter school.

Obviously both sides agree that our education system is in trouble. However, after reading opinions from both sides of this highly debated issue, I have come to determine that I do not think charter schools are the solution to our education system. Yes, charter schools do work well for some children, but they leave a ton of other children behind, as well. However, overall, I think the book truly did highlight some of the main issues in the education system. It also offered a variety of plausible solutions. I think this book was a great beginning to my personal passion project, and I plan on utilizing all of the information I have learned in order to fully investigate and try to advocate for our public education system!


  1. well I'm truly a believer in education because there are statistics that show private school children seem to get a better education than public school children I personally believe it's not fair because everyone deserves the same chance and opportunities to bloom regardless of who pays for what

  2. Mary, I'm very much so glad to see someone else be an advocate for public education. I am in agreement with you in that charter schools, which are essentially subsidized with public dollars that should be going to public schools, are not the answer. I would argue that the biggest problems facing public schools today are lack of adequate funding by the states, an overabundance of administrators in schools, and teachers being handcuffed to a curriculum that is focused around standardized testing. Above all else, the lack of direct parental involvement in their child's education is stunning. It sounds crazy, and I'm only 31, but I can remember a time when parents would side with and work with teachers in the education of their children. Now, it seems that far too many parents who are too self-involved or uninterested in the education of their children see it fit to just lay the blame at the teachers and not look in the mirror, or at their children. I look forward to seeing what more you come up with in your research.

  3. I think this is a very important topic. Education is the foundation of success. I think that everyone should receive the same education no matter what school they go to. I attended a charter high school, and yes I do believe I got a good education, however we only a few kids are able to attend, so what happens to the rest? Charter schools are also publically funded, so why can't that money go towards the betterment of all schools?