Waiting for Superman and the Status Quo

It has been amazing to me how many of my colleagues and friends are conflicted over Waiting for Superman. These colleagues and friends mind you are mostly sincere, smart, and authentic about the work we do and need to do to improve the success rates in all our schools for all kids. Some cannot reconcile their own thoughts and assessments with the messages in the documentary. Others flat-out refuse to see the movie.

While I would agree that the documentary is a bit off-balance. for example, it highlights–too much–the problems with teachers unions. There are problems caused by the unions. They do not even begin to highlight the problems often caused by superintendents and schools boards. These groups, too, are part of the current-day problem. Lets be honest–we are ALL a part of the problem. We can all be part of the solution.

To become real parts of the solutions is to abandon the status quo.   We must finally abandon the adult-interests so that real student needs and interests will be addressed.

I can understand controversy over the viewing of Waiting for Superman. For the life of me I remain puzzled over the desperate grip so many hold to the status quo.

In my work training and developing new superintendent-hopefuls with the Illinois Superintendents Preparation Academy, I do see signs of hope.  I see hope that we can abandon the status quo in order to finally create what works for all kids in every school everyday.

One of my own mentors (Linton Deck) told me many years ago–If you haven’t been fired from one of these jobs you probably haven’t done anything worthwhile for kids. At the time it seemed harsh. Now it seems more true that ever.

Are you breaking ranks from status quo in your work? Kids are relying on it.

JW

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