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Waiting for Superman: A Documentary Film

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.



Waiting for Superman

Waiting for Superman is a documentary about the schools in the United States. The filmmaker is a liberal who felt guilty about sending his child to a private school, since liberals are staunch supporters of public school teachers unions.

Truth be told, the majority of liberals who can afford private schools send their children to them, while voicing the greatness of the public school system for everybody else. Our filmmaker decided to investigate the schools because he wasn't sure why he didn't trust the public schools with his own child, or if his wariness of them was well-founded.

The result is Waiting for Superman, an extraordinary experience for the viewer. As a side bar, the first scene shows an elementary teacher asking children for a good example of early environmentalism, caring for the earth. The correct answer, the one that brings praise gushing forth from the teacher, is "the white settlers polluted the land and the Native Americans cleaned up their mess."



Is Money the Problem?

In a word: No. Since 1971, public schools have increased their spending per student by more than double—in constant dollars. But the public schools have not only shown no improvement, results have gotten worse.

Among 8th graders, only 21 percent are proficient at grade level in math; only 27.5 percent proficient in reading. 2,000 high schools in the nation—8 percent of all of them—are described as nothing more than dropout factories.

The worst schools in the United States? In our nation's capital, of course. Washington, D.C., is also the system with the most minority students and the most progressive city government. Grade point averages in DC drop two whole points between 5th and 7th grade.



The Worst School in the Country

Waiting for Superman highlights one 97 block area served by a Los Angeles High School with the highest dropout rate in the country. In the last 40 years, 20,000 have graduated high school in this area while 40,000 dropped out. Most drop out before the 10th grade.

These kids enter into high school reading at a 2nd grade level on average. Improper English is encouraged: "Let me axe you sumptin';" "I cries when I sees it," "He be shootin' good today." Black teachers see this as thumbing the nose at the white power system in America—a good thing.

The area is full of young people with no education, no diploma, no skills, and no aspirations. School is not considered important.

Then consider that 68 percent of prison inmates are high school dropouts. And it costs society (taxpayers) $33,000 a year to house, guard, and feed them. For that same amount of money—based on an average prison term of four years—each of them could have attended private schools for 13 years (@$8300 per year). Why don't we do that? The teachers unions—and their lackeys, progressive legislators— won't allow it.



Are All Teachers Equal?

Waiting for Superman claims that a bad teacher can set back a student an entire year. A good teacher will teach 150 percent of the curriculum during a year, but a bad teacher will only get through 50 percent of the curriculum.

Students with high performing teachers learn three times as much in a school year but both teachers get paid the same. They get paid equally as a sop to Marxism, the prevailing ideology of the teachers unions.

In 1991, a public school classroom in Milwaukee was secretly videotaped by a student. It shows the kids shooting craps during class, while the teacher reads the newspaper. After this hit the news, the principle decided to fire the teacher. He was soon forced to rehire him by the teachers union, with back pay.

The teacher was guaranteed a job for life and could not be fired under the collective bargaining contract. "Collective" was a favorite word of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.



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The Teachers Unions

The teachers unions are the largest political campaign contributors in the United States. They donated 55 million dollars in the last election, over 90 percent of it to candidates of the Democratic Party.

In other words, all Americans of all political persuasions pay the teacher salaries, out of which are deducted union dues that only support one political party. It must be great to have your campaigns financed by your political enemies.

It is widely felt that the biggest obstacle to improving schools is the teachers unions. They will not allow schools to distinguish between teachers, except by seniority. Great teachers can in no wise be rewarded. All comrades must be paid the same. Anybody with any sense knows this is a disincentive to hard work.



Where Do the Lazy, Crummy Teachers Go?

Waiting for Superman reveals something known in the public schools as the "Dance of the Lemons;" also called "Pass the Trash," and "The Turkey Trot." Principals have teachers who are known to everybody to be "lemons" (a defective teacher) but there is no "lemon law" for teachers. Quite the opposite, they can't be fired. All that can be done with them is to pass them on to another school. So, principals trade lemons, "I'll take yours, if you'll take mine."

Some districts put their lousy teachers in "rubber rooms." This means that they sit and do nothing all day while drawing full salary. Even though the taxpayers must pay them, it is better not to have them in a classroom. The process of firing a teacher takes three years, even for gross sexual violations, snorting cocaine in the classroom, sleeping through class, or missing 74 days of work.



Taxpayers Foot the Bill but Have No Say

Teachers in New York City alone are paid $100,000,000 for doing nothing because they are a danger to students but can't be fired. This is the true purpose of unions: to protect the worst employees. No star employee needs a union in any field. On the contrary, she is feted and fought over by competitors.

One study mentioned shows that if the worst 10 percent of teachers were fired tomorrow, America would have public schools second to none in the world the next day—but teachers unions won't allow it. In Illinois, out of 876 school districts only 61 have ever tried to fire a teacher. 38 were successful.

One out of 57 doctors in America lost their license last year. One out of every 97 lawyers was disbarred last year. Only one out of 2500 teachers lost their jobs.

Imagine if every job in America was guaranteed for life and no one could be fired. That is the Marxist dream. Professional baseball hitters could hit .100 year after year and still be guaranteed a spot on the team.



Charter Schools

Waiting for Superman focuses on Charter Schools. Catholic Schools and other Christian Schools are not mentioned—even though they far outperform unionized public schools for half the money.

The Charter Schools featured have had successes that are jaw-dropping. They only have room for so many children and must conduct public lotteries among applicants. Harlem Success Academy had 790 applicants and 42 slots. Many Charter Schools insist on official school uniforms for the children.

The documentary highlights reformers such as Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Parents United, The New Teacher Project, and StudentsFirst.

KIPP LA Schools sends 90 percent of its low-income graduates on to college—over four times the rate of the public schools. There are now 82 KIPP schools; all in bad neighborhoods.

There are also Seed Schools sprouting up that have been amazingly successful by removing the students from their home environment and having them live at the school—a boarding school for disadvantaged children. They allow no television or video games on campus; they hold classes seven days a week.

We know how these non-union schools achieve such incredible success, but the teachers unions say NO!



Michelle Rhee

Waiting for Superman investigates the case of Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Rhee posits that the 14,000 School Boards in the United States have their hands tied by the teachers unions and a vast bureaucracy.

Michelle Rhee had made clear progress in the Public Schools of Washington, D.C., though she ran up against constant opposition from teachers unions. She sought to purge the schools of incompetent teachers and principals. Previous administrations had hired a huge number of black "teachers" just because they were black. Many did not even have the proper teaching certificates.

The Washington, D.C. schools were spending the 3rd most of any schools in the nation but only 8 percent of 8th graders could do math at grade level. The school district also had twice the national average of classroom space. Rhee closed 24 schools that were under enrolled. She also announced new programs, specifically with more Art and Music.

Michelle Rhee tried to change the way teachers were compensated. She thought the key was to get rid of tenure—a guarantee of a teaching job for life regardless of performance. She offered the teachers union $122,000 per teacher if they would relinquish lifelong tenure. They were making $74,000 at the time. Startlingly, the teachers union refused to allow their members to even vote on the package, saying "We are against it because it divides people."

Michelle Rhee was shouted down in public meetings. Waiting for Superman shows black teachers protesting her proposal with signs that say her ideas are racist. They believe they have a right to these jobs. Michelle Rhee resigned.



Waiting for Superman: Documentary Film

California colleges must accept a third of all high school graduates. 55 percent of them must have taxpayer funded remedial classes because they cannot do college level work.

Bill Gates has to hire foreign workers since he cannot find enough intelligent Americans who can do the work he requires.

Once upon a time parents would pay high mortgages just to live near good schools. Social Engineering called Busing largely put an end to that. Schools got worse.



Have American Schools Always Been Pitiful?

America had the best Public Schools in the world, and the brightest children, until the 1970s. Ten Presidents and 100 Nobel Prize Winners graduated from Public Schools in the United States.

Today, our schools are 25th in math, 21st in science, and 23rd overall out of 29 advanced countries. Tellingly, on an international math test American high school students finished last but the test included the question, "How well do you think you performed?" and on that question the American students were first. The "self-esteem" movement has created kids who think they are first when they are last.

What changed in the 1970s? Having attended public schools, and having had three children graduate from public school decades after me, I can tell you the answer to that question. When I went to public schools, the focus was on English, Math, Science, History, Vocational Classes, and Physical Fitness. The focus today is on Multiculturalism, Tolerance, Social Justice, Inclusiveness, and Political Correctness. It is on implanting "right-thoughts" as perceived by Radical Progressives who run the teachers unions and the schools—not on learning.




James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 09, 2017:

Doodlebird ~ I have published two books since you wrote the comment below. I am sorry I didn't respond sooner but for some reason I did not see the notice that your comment was here. Anyway, thank you for reading my article. I hope you are writing.

Doodlebird on August 04, 2013:

Hi James - I haven't been around for a while (got a lot of catching up to do). Unfortunately, our schools are doing exactly what they were designed to do. And, we're so conditioned by it that we just go along with it for the most part - guess we missed the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse.

Where do you find the time to write so much?! I finally inspired to write again (education related) and, thanks to summer vacation, I managed to finish it :)

Always looking forward to seeing what comes next!


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 12, 2011:

Hyphenbird— Thank you very much for your kind compliments. I appreciate you for reading this Hub and making such fine comments.

I hope you watch the documentary. It is mind-bending. At least I think so.

You wrote: "We are so fortunate and blessed here in our little community. Out schools are excellent and the teachers committed to the children. All the teachers know all the kids, even ones they have never taught."

You are SO fortunate! I have read in one of your Hubs about your town. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful place to live and raise a family.

I have not seen your Superman Hub but I will come over and read it. I did hear that Superman renounced his American citizenship. What a load of Political Correctness!!

I love that you love this Hub! :-)

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 10, 2011:

What a great Hub. Like most anyone I could take issue with certain terms like liberal. I think liberal or not, this remains true with all parties. We are so fortunate and blessed here in our little community. Out schools are excellent and the teachers committed to the children. All the teachers know all the kids, even ones they have never taught.

I have not seen the movie and am saddened by all the statistics. I suppose some parents don't care and others are overwhelmed or feel helpless. It should not be so difficult to terminate low quality teachers.

The title Waiting for Superman may say it all. The DC comic hero has renounced his American citizenship to become a world citizen. I actually wrote a Hub about it. This is a direct reflection of how Americans are so determined to be tolerant, politically correct and inclusive. In doing so many are harmed to coddle the others who shout the loudest.

I love this outstanding Hub.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 07, 2011:

Ken McCoy— Gosh, I don't know the answer to your question. Is this somehow related to "Waiting for Superman" the movie?

Ken Mccoy on May 06, 2011:

how long have i got to come back a car together with Arizona " lemon " Regulations?

I got myself a second hand car 2 weeks back and I be aware of it is actually As Is/No Warranty yet arent presently there nonetheless specific rights in order to car or truck purchases to protect buyers? If I identified a significant mechanised problem as well as the car isn't drivable, what alternative have i got?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 14, 2011:

Fluffy77— Waiting for Superman is a great movie. I hope you check it out. Thank you for reading my review. And you are most welcome.

Fluffy77 from Enterprise, OR on April 13, 2011:

Sounds like a great movie, I haven't seen it yet. Although, from what I have read here and seen. I do want to see it even more than I did before, you sell it great here. Plus, I had heard of it before but sounded uninteresting even boring. Your spin on it has changed this view for me, thanks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 01, 2011:

Beth100— It is said that most people, as they age, long for the good old days before everything went to hell in a handbasket. When I was young, I swore to myself I would not be that way. But history has surprised me. I never thought the US would sink into such a quagmire of decadence as it has. I can't help but be against it and to recognize and lament the role played by my generation in what Judge Robert Bork called "Slouching Towards Gommorah."

I appreciate the information on the Maritimes. And your offer of assistance for my travels. I have long wanted to see those places. Perhaps this summer I might have the opportunity, combined with my first ever tour through New England—the only part of the US that I have not been.

Thank you!!

Beth100 from Canada on March 30, 2011:

James, I have to agree that education, and society in general, is not what is was during the era that I grew up. We were taught and educated, but most importantly, we were taught to think through a problem and provide a solution that had a win-win to both sides. Now, I see that political correctness is what it is all about. There is a trend for high schools (traditionally grades 9-12) to incorporate grades 7-8 into their system -- both physically and cirriculum wise. We have young adults/mid-teens who are intimidating young teens/pre-teens all for the sake of satisfying political agendas. It's disappointing and sad to see this trend.

The Maritimes are beautiful!!! Peggy's Cove in Halifax is a place where time has stood still. I swear, photos of this cove are exactly what it is in real life!! Beautiful and serene! New Brunswick has beautiful sandy beaches and warm waters during the summer. Prince Edward Island is famous for their splendid potatoes -- and all the different varieties!! Please come and visit -- I promise you will not be disappointed! Just a suggestion -- you can contact the provincial tourism department in the government and obtain fabulous brochures -- everything from B&Bs to five star hotels to camping to sight seeing and everything between. PEI has a great a wonderful brochure package and includes discounts for visitors. :)

Email me if you need help in finding the links or for suggestions. I'll be glad to help! Great to see you James!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 30, 2011:

Beth100-- Thank you for coming by to read my Hub. I think that back in my day-the 60s and 70s-we got a fine education in public schools. It was all about learning. There was no time spent on "diversity" and "inclusiveness" and "tolerance" and "multiculturalism" etc etc etc. THose things are not about learning knowledge but indoctrination of ideology-which is enormously anti-Western Civilization. I doubt if ever before a group of children has been taught to despise their own country.

I don't know much about education in Canada. But I like Canada very much. I would like to visit the Maritime Provinces this summer if I am able.

It is great that you tutor your children. I appreciate your remarks and you are welcome.

Beth100 from Canada on March 29, 2011:

James, This movie was not anything that I did not expect. I have always believed that the school system fails the children and that politics and winds of correctness cover up the shortcomings. I have had the same viewpoint on Canadian public schools, though they tend to fair a bit better in the stats. Even so, I find that our system fails the students tremendously. My solution: my children attend public, but I supplement as a tutor for each of them in all the subjects. I suppose this is why I have so little time to write. :D

Thanks for the review and your opinions on the movie -- it's an eye opening and thought provoking movie and everyone should watch it. Peace and light.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 19, 2011:

Alexander Mark— You are welcome, my friend. Thank you for your kind compliments.

I covered the subject of vouchers—which I favor ferociously—in a previous Hub:

I think eliminating unions would help tremendously. No longer would terrible teachers be protected at all costs; layoffs or terminations would no longer be based on seniority but on talent, work habits, and results. Great teachers could then be singled out for advancement and bonus pay.

I agree with you that teachers should not be undervalued—that is surely not what I want. I can tell you from being a student that some teachers are far better than others and I think they should be paid more money for it. If so, I would bet more teachers would be great teachers. Why go the extra mile if all you have to look forward to is identical rewards regardless of effort? The whole idea of unions is twisted and based on a long out-moded concept of Marxism. Unions are antithical to the American Way, which is meritocracy.

I agree with your brother that education is heavy with administrators. And think if the $55 million teachers unions gave to Democrat candidates for office last year had been used for teacher bonuses.

The more I think about your excellent commentary the more I think public schools just need to go away, or at least the federal involvement in them. It is the feds who push all this anti-God "you're nothing but an animal" agenda, along with silly historical fictions to supposedly promote the "self-of-steam" of groups who frankly just haven't accomplished much. The schools push socialist ideas and flat out promote sinful behavior that can lead to disease and early death.

I'll go take a Valium now.

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on March 17, 2011:

Great hub James, you are hitting on one of my favorite sore spots and as usual I learned alot.

I'm surprised you didn't mention vouchers in your article, maybe I missed it, but I think vouchers have to come before the problem can really be rectified. Unions are definitely a road block to a voucher system though.

Perhaps it is a toss up between corrupt unions and the problem that may be fueling that corruption: lack of a voucher system. Would eliminating unions really end the problem or would it be like taking away the biggest weapons of your most dangerous enemy without passing judgment and punishment and preventing them from making more?

I am shocked to learn that high school teachers can obtain tenure. It is bad enough that college professors can have it, and maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they earned the right to tenure after long years of productive service (yes I am a little bit of a socialist, sorry), but I don't know how a high school education compares.

I'm not saying high school teachers should be undervalued, but despite the enormous impact they have on teenagers, it cannot compare with a great college professor who can nurture a student more specifically and focus on passing on their passion and knowledge in a specific field.

A brother of mine said that a big problem with funding is that there are 3 bureaucratic positions for every teacher in the public school system. That seems a little bit ridiculous, but do you have any thoughts on this?

What I can tell you is that my education in the public education system was horrible. My high school years are from 90 to 95. One of my personal pet peeves was the illogical jump from being taught directly from the teacher in elementary and middle school to reading endless chapters to gather information to learn and do my homework in high school. Obviously a grand strategic error.

More importantly, I don't remember ever learning world history, and not much American history either. Some of that was certainly due to my inattention, but I also remember learning something about Paul Revere riding to warn somebody about the enemy, without any context or background story, and I learned that 3 years in a row. Why? Was it some kind of filler to take up space for a real history education? History was called, "social studies," by the way.

I may have been a bad history student, but I think I might have picked up a little more if the material had had context and wasn't so dry.

Conspiracy? Maybe. We were taught white guilt, evolution, bullies were allowed to do what they wanted while the victims were told not to fight back or do anything, (no offense intended to liberals, but this is a very liberal way of handling the problems of others) and nothing was done about the problems, permission slips needed for sex education (is that really needed in school?) but no permission slips for the one day class about homosexual lifestyle and learning about gaydar.

There are obvious large problems with public schools and have been going on for a long time. Public schools need to be challenged and if they are, they will be forced to improve or die. Then American kids can get a real education.

Thanks for covering this so in depth, I never understood the union issue before now.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 14, 2011:

Lee B— I didn't mean to make you cry. You made me laugh out loud with your "self-of-steam" story. Ha! LOL.

It is kind of sad that you quit your chosen profession. I think the ship can be righted if enough people stand up and start giving a hoot for a change.

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. I always enjoy it when you comment. I'll look in on your Hubs soon and see what you've been up to. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 14, 2011:

Tom T— You are welcome. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I am gratified at your kind compliments. It is good to see you again.

You used the term "Social Experiments" and to me that is what education has been all about in the last 40 years. Don't get me wrong, some level of indoctrination is bound to happen in schools. But for centuries at least the indoctrination was for something good—love of country, love of God, virtue, civility, good citizenship, and admiration for the institutions of American life that make our freedom and standard of living possible. Now the indoctrination is anti-American, anti-Western Civilization, anti-God, the celebration of ignorance, and admiration for all sorts of depravity.

I agree with your comments 100%. Thank you for your wise insights.

Lee A Barton from New Mexico on March 13, 2011:

I was crying by the time I finished reading this. I consider myself a liberal and pro-union, but when I was teaching, I quit the union for the very reasons you describe, and now I've quit teaching altogether. I've taken a huge pay cut, but I just can't teach in the public schools any more.

Several years ago, I was forced to teach one of those self-esteem programs. What a load of crap! A colleague showed me an essay a student had written about how he never wanted to do anything difficult because it might damage his "self-of-steam." That's what he heard us saying! And he was right.

Tom T from Orange County, CA on March 12, 2011:


What a hub.... I'm definitely going to see this film. I think this points out that Education may be the Achilles heal of the liberals. If there is one thing most all parents want for their children is to be educated.

For so long the unions and the progressive liberals who support them have been given carte blanc to hold their social experiments on our kids. Instead of educating them they have chosen to indoctrinate them. The result is all too often a not very well educated child who becomes part of the problem instead of a self sufficient adult. Parents no matter their politics want their child to have knowledge.

This film seems to make clear the system is badly broken. My hope is that this and other examples will get out to the people and good parents who want the best for their kids will put aside party politics and force the unions and the progressives to surrender their power so the system can be fixed.

That is my hope and that is my prayer. Thanks for the hub. Keep up the great work.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 12, 2011:

ripplemaker! What a pleasure to see you here! Thank you very much for blessing me with your presence. :-)

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 10, 2011:

Still waiting for the movie to come out in our country :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 09, 2011:

Vcize— Thank you for taking the time to read the whole Hub. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I look forward to reading some of your work.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 08, 2011:

eclecticeducation— Now that is what I call a list! :-)

I hope you do get to see it someday. It is great that you homeschool your children. I agree with you that despite that what happens to the rest of the youth in our nation should be of concern to all of us.

Thank you for reading my Hub. I appreciate your comments. And you are welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 08, 2011:

hemustincrease— I agree with you that children are not missionaries. I am all for homeschooling. Anything that will take children out of the propaganda machine of Secular Humanism I strongly favor.

And the second half of your commentary is also well recived by me. Abortion is the American Holocaust—55 million innocents dead. This is a stain on our national soul.

Vcize from United States on March 08, 2011:

Great hub. I can't believe I read all that :P

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 08, 2011:

Rod Marsden— It is sad to hear your report of so many teachers quitting the profession down under. Thank you for your fine remarks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 08, 2011:

ahostagesituation— Thank you for coming by and offering your excellent analysis. I am glad we are in agreeance.

There is surely something to be said for confidence. But in this case I think it is past confidence and onto illusion. :D

eclecticeducation on March 07, 2011:

I am looking forward to seeing this documentary, but unfortunately I am like 190th on the library waiting list. lol!!! Thank you for your write up on it. I homeschool my children, but I am still deeply concerned by what goes on with other children. When I read stuff like this, I am so glad that I made the choice to homeschool. Thank you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 07, 2011:

GPAGE!! What's a girl like you doing hanging out in a joint like this?

You hit on another big problem. There is no doubt that some kids are far more intelligent than others, and no doubt than some apply themselves far more than others. But at most schools, the kids who are far ahead have to sit through the same lessons over and over again waiting for the slower students to get it. Why is it this way? "Inclusiveness" and "Self Esteem." The next educator who utters those words should be shot. (By a spit wad, of course.)


hemustincrease on March 07, 2011:

James. Yes, many Christians have directly opposed me in choosing to home educate my children, based on their understanding that children are called to be ‘missionaries’. Firstly, children born to Christian parents are certainly not automatically Christians themselves and as such are NOT light at all. Secondly, nowhere in Gods Word are parents instructed to SEND OUT their children as some kind of missionary to the pagan institutions. God commands us to ‘come out and be separate’. Children are not undercover missionaries.

Abortion clinics have Christians stand outside and PRAY for those going in. And i know of women who have been so convicted by seeing them, they could not go through with the abortion. Perhaps instead of sending ‘children’ into the enemies territory and firing line, those parents with a special concern for the children sent to pubic schools, might stand OUTSIDE the gates WITH their children by their sides and pray and preach the truth and hand out tracts and plead with the parents taking their children there to ‘repent and be saved’. I cannot think that many people would be persuaded to become vegetarian by people who sent their kids to eat meat day in and day out. If we are going to be witnesses to the light we have to LIVE in the light.

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on March 07, 2011:

Yes, we do have a teachers union. The inmates do indeed run the asylum. As a student I never felt comfortable studying in high school. There were always students that would have been best employed elsewhere doing something else. College and university were wonderful.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 07, 2011:

Rod Marsden— Thank you for taking the time to read my work, Rod. I appreciate your insightful comments. Do you have a teachers union over there?

I hear you about the discipline problems. Back in the day teachers could paddle your butt for talking back. I don't think anybody suffered permanent damage from it. In fact, I think it made kids think twice before acting up. Now, the inmates run the asylum.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 07, 2011:

christ4ever— It is great to hear from you, Reverend Ted. Your comments are excellent and I agree with you.

Yes, teaching is indeed a noble profession. I did hear that they are eliminating cursive writing instruction.

Learning should start in the home. But whatever the parents say has to countermand what the children learn in school, and what they see on television. Television. I could write a whole book on its pernicious effects. Not the medium itself, of course, which is neutral. The message that those in control of the medium send.

Thank you for coming by to visit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 07, 2011:

prasetio30— You are welcome, brother. Thanks for visiting my Hub and leaving your comments. I need to come over and see what you've been writing lately.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 07, 2011:

hemustincrease— That quote from John J. Dunphy is astounding. I think I used it in one of my previous Hubs. There you have it in black and white in their own words.

Secular Humanism is legally a religion in the United States. It makes me wonder why no one complains about the schools having an official religion.

Your comments are extraordinary. You wrote:

"They are doing exactly what they set out to achieve. Teaching a religion, and that means dumbing down both the consciences and the intelligences of children sent to them. If you are a Bible believer then public schools are the enemies territory."

Truer words have rarely been spoken. I have had some Christians tell me they send their children to public schools as examples, to witness to the lost. They say if they didn't, there would be no light at all in the public schools. That does make sense but all I can say is your child had better be very strong to withstand the onslaught, which undoubtedly will include ridicule—something all children are hurt by when it comes from their peers at that age.

I surely agree with you that this is a spiritual battle. And one in which our side has suffered immense losses. But all is not lost. We need to ask God to help us mount a strong comeback.

Thank you for your remarkable remarks.

LaRoussou on March 07, 2011:

Awesome!!! We were talking about this exact documentary over the crazy. America's youth have abysmal test scores, but are overall testing highest in self-confidence--what a ridiculous combination! Not good. I was discussing this, and a friend of mine reminded me that unfortunately, confidence will tend to take people further in this world than intelligence. We have leading technological companies in this country, but Bill Gates says that the type of engineering skill in the price bracket they are willing to pay at Microsoft is difficult to find in the US. Interesting. I'm so glad you did this one, James!

GPAGE from California on March 06, 2011:

JAMES! It is very worrying for parents with young children in the school system. My kids have been in both private and public schools. The other day my so came home and said he was bored and he was learning the same things he learned at age 7 in England when we lived there a few years ago. He is now eleven years old! Not sure what the right answer is? I'm working on it now.....the whole thing gives me the creeps. G

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on March 06, 2011:

Interesting, James. In Australia teachers can be fired. Often, however, parents don't take much of a hand in their own child's education. Discipline is lacking in both school and home resulting in teacher burn-out. After a decade or so of being in a public school a lot of teachers opt out for more sane employment. Children tend to understand very early that there is little a teacher can really do to them. for them or with them when they muck up in class. They know their rights all too well.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 06, 2011:

John— Thank you for reading my Hub. And you are welcome.

Rev. Teddy C. Ryan III from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia on March 06, 2011:

Excellent hub James, in that it draws attention to the seriousness of the problem (vernacular labels notwithstanding-LOL). A proper education is the key to enlightenment. Everyone wants to blame everyone else for the problems in the system when it is broken. The root does however lie in the homes where the core system of beliefs should originate from, which then can be reinforced to support (or deny) whatever input or learning is received outside in the mainstream world.

On a side note, now they are removing the need for learning hand writing (cursive) in schools. I guess we don't need to learn math either, when machines can do all of these tasks for us.

Organized education has become as effective as organized religion (and we all know where that has gotten our world). Would be nice if we could all just get back to the basics in life and learning. Educators do have a difficult job and it is a noble profession for those that truly have the heart for it.

With peace and blessings... Rev.Ted

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 05, 2011:

I never knew about this before. Thanks for share with us. Well done, James. You open my eyes about this movie. Nice review. Rated up!


hemustincrease on March 05, 2011:

“Education is the most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday Schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

In the January/February 1983 issue of The Humanist magazine, a young scholar by the name of John J. Dunphy expressed the aim of humanists in education with these very blunt words:

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects that spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of educational level -- preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of "love thy neighbor" will finally be achieved.”

If you are a humanist (which IS a religion and certainly is the religion of the West today) then public schools the way they are today should be of little concern. They are doing exactly what they set out to achieve. Teaching a religion, and that means dumbing down both the consciences and the intelligences of children sent to them. If you are a Bible believer then public schools are the enemies territory. I have no understanding of why Christian parents send their kids to them. I have even less understanding of why Christians teach in them. In some parts of the world Christians are being persecuted severely because they refuse to send their children to the humanistic public schools. Yet here in the US and even more so in the UK, Christians defend these places? Yet the evidence is surely in favor of the humanists and the socialists. Kids who attend these places ARE indoctrinated and the VAST majority who have believing parents leave the church. We are in a Spiritual battle. And so many Christians are standing on the wrong side of the battle lines. Public schools are not going to be ‘reformed’. Tweeked here and there to offer false assurances and hope. But never reformed. They are working PERFECTLY well just as they are.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

tobbyhot— I'm not sure about each child but I do wish all parents would watch it. Thanks for your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

DIYweddingplanner— That was quite a history lesson given to your son there. And quite a lesson to us about multiculturalism run wild. I don't think it will change until a whole new course is agreed to in this country. The children are the future. I think we owe them a proper education. They need to be told the truth.

Thank you very much for reading my work. I appreciate your sobering comments.

John on March 05, 2011:

Look forward to seeing what they say about the Charter schools. Thanks for looking

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

peggypat— I must say you have one of the most impressive profile pages on HubPages. Thank you for visiting my humble Hub. I sincerely appreciate the accolades. I am grateful for them.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

mtsi1098— You're welcome. I agree with you. Thank you very much for the compliments. It is good to hear from you again. Thank you for coming by and chiming in.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

cameciob— I agree with your remarks. The idea I think should be to give each family a $8,000 government voucher per child that it can used to send its children to the government school, a charter school, or a Christian school. This is freedom of choice—a very American idea. Not only will citizens not be forced any longer to pay for progressive anti-American, anti-Western Civilization, anti-God propaganda shoved down their children's throats that they strongly disagree with but have little time to countermand at home; but I'll bet the public schools would then shape up. Competition always makes any organization stronger.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

stars439— You are welcome, brother. I am glad you agree with this article. You are good man. God Bless You and thanks for coming.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

Bail Up !— I haven't read Tony's Hub yet but I shall ASAP. I hope you do watch the movie. It is eye-opening. I was moved by it.

Thank you much for coming by to visit. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

CASE1WORKER— I'm not sure the meaning behind the title of the film. But I am glad to hear from you that the UK is undergoing much needed reforms to its educational system.

God Bless your daughter for becoming a teacher— a most noble profession. And God Bless You for helping promote literacy. Bravo!

Thank you for your thoughtful insights. And you are most welcome.

DIYweddingplanner from South Carolina, USA on March 04, 2011:

James, a subject near and dear to my heart since I've been involved with education, both private and public for most of my life. I can remember my then 5-year-old son coming home from kindergarten on Martin Luther King's birthday, I asked him what he did at school that day and he told me they had learned about Martin Luther King. I asked him what they had learned, hoping he would talk about peaceful resolution of issues, equality, etc. Instead he said, "We learned that Martin Luther King was black and he was shot and killed by a white man." Years after the event and we still couldn't get the big picture...

Peggy Patrick Medberry from Los Angeles on March 04, 2011:

James.. great hub.. terrific film! As a former public school teacher -- I can attest to the issues raised in Waitng for Superman. The system is broken and sadly our children are the ones that suffer.

tobbyhot on March 04, 2011:

I would say waiting for superman was one of the best documentary on education system. I seen it last year and was really impressive. I would suggest to each child watch it once.

mtsi1098 on March 04, 2011:

If it is one thing that this country lakes is the concentration on making our schools better with quality teachers. Like we told our son when he was going though the public schools - You will get out of your education what you put into it...thanks great hub

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

tony0724— Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub, dear friend. I will come over soon and read your Hub as well. We should all be quite concerned about the takeover of our public schools by Leftist Guerrillas.

God Bless You Tony!


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Joshua Kell— Thank you very much for the spirited defense of my honor. I am grateful and indebted to you, kind sir.

No need to be sorry. I am definitely pro-Israel and never have I been accused of being anti-semitic until today. It hurts. I am a Christian—I would not go as far as to say a Good Christian, thought I sincerely appreciate you saying so.

You wrote:

"When my 11 year old son came home with some rubbers, talking about gay marriage, at much to young of an age; I pulled him out of school, and he is now home schooled."

As well he should be. AN OUTRAGE!

All of your points are well taken. God Bless You!

cameciob on March 03, 2011:

James, your article depicts a very dark scene of school in America. And though, most of us send our kids to public schools because we don't have enough money for private ones. Let alone the money we need to send them to college. On one hand we have a public system we no longer trust, on the other hand we have a private system we cannot afford. Non of these two system wants to make concesions, to improve; the public to have better teachers and curriculae, the private - to allow more of our kids to attend. In the end, it is on the kids and their adult life...

But I'm looking forward for the Superman movie.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on March 03, 2011:

James your right about public schools. I think their pretty much substandard. God Bless You. Thank you for having the courage to say what needs to be said.

Bail Up ! on March 03, 2011:

I commented on Tony0724 hub on same topic and then I saw yours. As I've already stated very interesting and timely hub on such a hot topic given the Wisconsin Teachers Union issue. This however is bigger than Wisconsin. It is of national concern. Overcrowding, minorities, families economic status, bullying all play a part on our childrens learning capabilities. Throw some questionable teachers that know they cant be fired and see how that further weakens our education system. Will be watching this movie soon.

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on March 03, 2011:

James, I opened your hub, expecting a film review of a new superman movie. Instead of our hero flying through the sky rescuing those in distress, I found myself reading a reasoned account of an educational system that needs serious adjustment. In the UK our system is not perfect; but the government is addressing the issue, just today measures were taken to reduce the time spent on subjects that were of little use: and to encourage professionals to teach young people their vocational skills.

Thank you for this hub. My eldest is training to teach primary (5-11) year olds and I know that she is not being fed mis truths, I start a job in the next few weeks working with adults and parents, to try and identify those parents who have poor literacy skills. In this country we tend to early retire poor teachers.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

crystolite— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

yankeeintexas— I am glad we are in agreeance. I removed the offending phrase. You may call me a Conservative Welshman anytime you want. Since that is what I am, I cannot imagine why anyone would take offense.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

lilyfly— I will be over to read some of your work soon. In the mean time, thank you for coming! :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

fi fi— If there is one thing I cannot abide, it is political correctness—a moral cancer. I am glad you enjoy my work. And yes, the comments are always interesting. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I very much appreciate your laudatory comments.

I don't know much about the schools in your great nation. It is good you provided an overview. I hope either the public schools here eliminate all that "self-esteem" "inclusiveness" "tolerance" "multicultural" nonsense and spend the school day on English, Math, Science, and other core subjects that might make the students smarter. Otherwise, the public schools need to be abolished altogether.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Robert— Hello my old friend! Always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for coming by to visit. I sincerely appreciate your laudations.

You wrote: "We just have to put our kids first in our daily lives which in turn will enhance theirs."

Well said!!

One point is that the constant clamoring for more money is ludicrous. The Kansas City Schools spent $31,000 per student for decades and there was zero improvement in academic performance. They did produce kids with high self esteem. But they had done nothing to earn it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Granny's House— Thank you very much for the accolades! I agree with you that having millions of bad teachers with tenure—unfireable—is a bad situation. The public schools are a mess. I hope we fix them.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Marcella Glenn— I appreciate the gentility of your reproof. I have removed the offending phrase.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Radioguy— You are welcome. Your encouragement, coming from a former teacher, is something for which I am grateful. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Wealthmadehealthy— Hello! You are welcome. Thanks for the compliments. I appreciate the visit and your comments.

I agree that in single-parent homes, and homes with both parents working, there is a shortage of quality time to help children learn. I think changing this will prove more difficult than improving education.

Perhaps less TV and video games would help. The education of children is of paramount importance. My hope is that the nation will begin to take it more seriously.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Joshua Kell— Thank you for your comments. I am glad we are in agreeance. Do you know that as homeschooling grows, so grows voices of progressives who want to ban or control what is taught in homeschooling so that no one escapes their twisted ideologies.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

Rand Zacharias— Any relation to Ravi Zacharias? I met him once.

I believe you are correct that the title comes from Nietzsche. I am not sure why the filmmaker chose that name.

You progressive liberals have a lot of interesting ideas. How is it that "Liberal Jew" "Jewish Liberal" "Jewish" or "Jew" can be a racial slur, an anti-semitic description, and most of all: a hate crime? If so, then Wikipedia and hundreds of thousands of widely respected books are filled with hate in your eyes because I see people described that way all time. How do you think I know he is a Jew? From his Wikipedia entry. How do I know he is a Liberal? He says so in the film. Is English Protestant a slur and a hate crime? How about Italian Catholic Conservative? African Animist? How about Conservative Jew? I gotta tell you that I don't get you people with your poliically correct antenae. I was only saying that it is unlikely a Liberal Jew would tout the greatness of Christian Schools. Do you doubt that is true? What is wrong with that observation? I don't think a Chinese Buddhist or an Arabian Muslim would tout Christian Schools either. Do you find this whole paragraph filled with hate? What makes you qualified to judge another person's heart? I thought non-judgmentalism was the foundation of Progressive philosophy.

The rest of your comments are excellent. Thank you for them. I appreciate the visit and your participation in this discussion.

tony0724 from san diego calif on March 03, 2011:

James I just saw the movie the other day and wrote a brief hub about it myself. I did not give out alot of details because I wanted people to watch it and see for themselves what a travesty our current education system is. I felt sadness and anger after this movie and I think those who back the Wisconsin teachers really ought to watch it and find out how their taxes are being wasted. I was angry , sad and somewhat hopeful because people like Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada and a handful of teachers who are not UNION actually care about our kids.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

graceomalley— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Your comments are fascinating.

You wrote:

"Through my school career thus far I had been relentlessly critisized for being the child of a welfare mother, for reading too much"

This is very interesting. When I went to school, I don't think any of us knew who was on welfare and who wasn't. And it is unfortunate that many kids today in certain neighborhoods are lambasted and ridiculed for reading and studying.

Thank God you got that scholarship, which as you say changed your life. Thank God your mother spent time with you to teach you many things. That surely makes a huge difference.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

b. Malin— You are surely right that we need to bring back the art of conversation, especially with our children. The boarding school for the disadvantaged I mentioned in my Hub disallows television and video games altogether and they have been very successful.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

Stan Fletcher— Hey man! Fancy meeting you here. Thank you for coming and for your comments.

I agree with you that a good education is possible in a public school providing the parents are on top of what the child is being taught. Because some of it needs to be countermanded at home.

Not long ago, a woman told me that the day after Columbus Day (they're Italian), a social studies teacher told her child that Columbus was like Adolph Hitler—a mass murderer. I'm not kidding. She confronted the teacher—24 year female in her first year of teaching—and the teacher said that is what she was taught in college.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

Judy— Thank you for that great idea. I think I will try my little hometown newspaper first and see what happens.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

Hxprof— Thank you very much. I am glad to see you here, compadre. I do hope school will get back to teaching and lay off all the deconstruction.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

CMerritt— You are quite welcome, my friend. Thank you ever much for forwarding this link to people you know. I definitely appreciate that.

I am tickled pink to read your laudatory remarks. I saw someone recently object to the phrase "take this country back." Of course, their other words demonstrated they didn't understand the phrase. It simply means for people who love America as it is meant to be by the Founding Fathers; as it was accepted according to that vision from 1770 to about 1963; to take it back from those who have deconstructed her and blackened her name.

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on March 02, 2011:

I am sorry James...but I must say something to Rand's comment. Rand, I am Jewish, and I did not find James' comments anti Jew, or rascist in any way. I consider James a friend, and I know him to be a friend of Israel, and a good Christian. I can't believe I waded through your murky comments. Seemed like a lot of hot air expelled.

I am so happy for you, that your kids are geniuses, and at the top of their class. You ought to thank the Lord, because many children are developing learning disabilities, just because many of their teachers really don't care. The Riddlin (???), flouride, bogus / poison vaccines, poor dietary standards, and liberal mind rot propaganda, does not help either. Most children need good teachers, and need a little more guidance than your maven quiver.

When my 11 year old son came home with some rubbers, talking about gay marriage, at much to young of an age; I pulled him out of school, and he is now home schooled. I expect that to be made illegal any day now, as 'they' are stealing and polluting the minds and souls of our children

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

kashmir56— I sincerely appreciate the accolades. Your comments are of keen insight. I will quote you if I may:

"I think getting rid of all government run schools and replacing them with supported privately owned and run schools would help,also i think the values that this country was built on should be brought back into the schools."

That could not have been better said. Thank you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

aguasilver— I sure appreciate the compliments, voted up, and especially you passing this around for me, John. You wrote:

"To ensure a controlled and subservient nation, first strangle individuality and free speech."



James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

poorconservative1— Thank you for your fine remarks. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! You wrote:

'Milton Friedman once said "Public schools should be allowed to exist, but they should be forced to compete with private schools on equal footing through a voucher system."'

I agree with that wholeheartedly. Great addition to the conversation!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

youngcurves19— Your idea on the pension would surely be a small step in the right direction. I really like this that you wrote:

"the root of the problem its the attitude of the average American (teachers children parents) education is taken for granted and thought of a chore rather than a privilege"

Yes, much truth in that. Thank you for reading my article. I enjoyed reading your excellent comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

spiderpam— It has been a while. It is so good to hear from you. You saw the movie and I did it justice? That is great news! Thanks Pam!!


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

bbnix— There is truth in what you say. There are many factors—80% illegitimacy in some neighborhoods; serious students facing ridicule for studying; an emphasis on nonsense versus real academics.

Thank you for visiting and commenting. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

Partisan Patriot— Thank you for your outstanding remarks. We stand in agreeance. I appreciate you coming by and chiming in.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

WillStarr— Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub. I appreciate your excellent comments. All unions are by nature Leftist organizations, as in "Workers of the World United." Among teachers themselves, about 40 percent seem to be conservative but they are not in control of curriculum, and certainly not of where their paycheck-deducted union dues get spent. The Leftists, beginning with John Dewey, were smart to take control of the curriculum. Their message dominates the public schools and their message is anti-American, anti-Western Civilization to the max.

I agree 100% with your idea of getting rid of government schools altogether. Brilliant!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

Moonchild60— I had no idea the word "Jew" was slanderous. Or the word "Liberal." Or "Liberal Jew." "Jewish Liberal?" That too? I only meant that in such a documentary I would expect to see Catholic and other Christian schools at least touched on. But I thought about it and researched the background of the author and he is of German Jewish descent. Then I understood why Christian schools—with their staggeringly better performance teaching children over public schools—would not be included. I wouldn't expect a Jewish man to even consider sending his child to a Catholic school.

I have removed that reference in the name of political correctness.

I enjoyed reading the rest of your remarks very much. Thank you for reading my article and commenting.

Emma from Houston TX on March 02, 2011:

Job well done.I agree with you.

yankeeintexas from Lubbock, Texas on March 01, 2011:

Even though I have a problem with your word choices, for example: Liberal Jew, I agree 100% with your hub!

lilyfly on March 01, 2011:

As usual, gives me a great overview! What can I say? You make me think I'm smarter than I am. Look at my stuff, Lots of new poems, Tell me if they are validas? Latah, good man,,,lily

fi fi from Niagara, Canada on March 01, 2011:

Excellent writing, opinions and facts mingle really well together....I enjoyed reading this hub as well as the subsequent comments...I always like reading your articles immensely because you're not afraid to state facts, unpolished to accommodate political correctiveness. Well done!

And as a Canadian, born and bred of the public school system with children of my own in the same, I have to say that substandard teachers and curriculum are everywhere, though as a parent who watches closely what my kids are learning in public school, it seems that their daily school day consists of far less of what I would consider prioritized learning than what I recall learning at their age in school. Internet surfing seems to have taken precedence over grammar, and diplomatic cordiality seems to have become more important than scientific fact.

Robert on March 01, 2011:

James, Another fantastic Hub about a sbuject that should be on all Americans minds these days. I have not seen the movie yet but looking forward to it. You and I went to the same public schools and it was great compared to today. It is a composite problem as someone mentioned earlier but the answer is simple. We just have to put our kids first in our daily lives which in turn will enhance theirs.

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on March 01, 2011:

James, fantastic hub. I think it is awful that we can not get rid of BAD teachers. I went to public school and back then it was a great school. Now days, schools suck!. They are full of violence, some teachers that do not care and parents not doing their part.

Marcella Glenn from PA on March 01, 2011:

James, you mention valid points, but some word choice- questionable.

Radioguy from Maine on March 01, 2011:

Very well researched and to the point! Thanks!

Wealthmadehealthy from Somewhere in the Lone Star State on March 01, 2011:

James, Hi. This seems to be a subject that thankfully with the protests in Wisconsin in full bloom is quite under discussion.

As I stated in another writing. Yes the scores are down. A lot of this I attributed and still attribute to this challenge is the lack of parental help at home. Parents are too busy to work with their children on things they are having a problem with .....I personally witnessed a really bad situation in MN where a set of parents literally signed the papers for their child to drop out of school and not finish as they did not want 'the hassle" Somehow, I do not feel this is the teachers fault when the parents do not care. I thank God there are some parents who actually are concerned with how much their child learns versus just letting the teachers.

When you and I were growing up, our parents worked with us,I know mine did, and yours most likely also. As far as being liberal or conservative, The issue to me is not so much whether you are one of the above, but how much you personally want your child to be successful in life. This was a great hub...Thanks for writing it1

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on March 01, 2011:

Hi James, I agree completely with you. Which is why I home-school. PEACE!

Rand Zacharias on March 01, 2011:

Looking for Superman, is an interesting title, as I believe it is Nietzschean in origin. Nietzsche had to go to private school because the bullies in public school kept picking on him for his literary focus.

Nietzcshe loved liberal Jews, however, so I would question your racist slur, because it's a hate crime.

And quite stop throwing labels, James.

As for collectivism, hmmm, the founding fathers stood together as a collective, as did the twelve disciples as they followed Jesus--soooo, I don't know where you're going with that thought.

As for bad teachers? Move out of Los Angeles and live in Duluth, Minnesota--my kids have and are going through a public school system and graduating at the top of the class--now granted, my children are gifted--oh, and I'm not biased. However, in a class of hundreds my oldest did graduate at the top of his class--so it really doesn't matter. They could call him number one--because that would have made the other graduates feel lesser.

So I get your meaning in this "feel good" school system that America has been handcuffed with.

However, the responsibility still lies on parents and society. We aren't living in a unique time--Bullying has always been around, of course, game boys haven't.

Much of the responsibility has been foisted on teachers, who, if they suck at their jobs, will do a poor job of educating your child.

Conservatism and Liberalism are two sides of the same coin--any extreme is detrimental to a child's education...ergo, the cliché, "all things in moderation."

An individual has to have passion for learning, whatever academic branch he or she wishes to become a student of, and the onus should be place squarely on the guardian, parent, teacher, grandparent, whoever the primary mentor of each child truly is, to discover that niche, that focal branch, that passion.

Blaming ideologies from past Communist fears isn't the answer. Certainly, racial epithets and slurs aren't the answer. "Train up a child in the way that he should go," means the child has a destiny, a "way," a path to follow to love what that individual is genetically born to do.

The Ubermensch may come, we are still waiting, but for the love of your children don't throw the education out with a watered down teacher. Find a better school district for your child.

graceomalley on March 01, 2011:

Quality education is life changing. When I was 14 I won a scholarship to a boarding school (merit based, I took a multiple choice test, wrote an essay, and was interveiwed by the headmaster, the academic dean, the college addmissions officer and two teachers). My essay was about how teachers don't help you learn. This may not have been diplomatic, but I backed up all my points with details. Through my school career thus far I had been relentlessly critisized for being the child of a welfare mother, for reading too much, for not socializing enough. I learned more from my mother than I learned in school - she pretty much taught me to read, and spent what money she had on books for me, plus regularly walked me a couple of miles to the library.

That boarding school changed my life, gave me a vision for the future. They also helped me win a full academic scholarship to a highly competative college. It was the first time I remember adults excited about my intelligence, acting as though it was a good thing - the best thing in the world.

This idea of boarding schools for disadvantaged kids - I'm so for it. You would come out with productive citizens instead of people who don't know how to build a life & instead live day to day or even end up in prison.

I look forward to seeing the movie.

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