This weekend, the much-discussed and perhaps controversial documentary Waiting for Superman opens in theaters nationwide. There is certainly buzz about the film—an initial search reveals 14 separate Facebook pages or groups named for the film and multiple websites discussing the documentary, some defending and some arguing against it.
Waiting for Superman is a documentary that features five students, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade from various parts of the United States including Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. The film also introduces what the official synopsis of Waiting for Superman calls education reformers and their work in the classroom.
Student leaders from the Education Council, the student government body at the Curry School, have helped organize a panel discussion following one of the opening weekend screenings of the documentary in downtown Charlottesville. The United Way—Thomas Jefferson Area is partnering with the Ed Council in organizing the event.
The panelists include E. Ashby Kindler, Principal of the Community Public Charter School in Charlottesville and two faculty members at the Curry School: Professor Pam Tucker and Associate Professor Nancy Deutsch.
“Popular media has decided to make this its moment of concern regarding education,” says Kris Wiley, chair of the scholarship and professional development committee for the Education Council. “I am proud that Curry faculty and educators such as principal Ashby Kindler recognize the importance of capturing that moment. They are admirably prepared to bring years of experience and hard work to the table as we look past a two-hour snapshot to the broader landscape of education.”
Lynne Crotts, a graduate student at the Curry School and a member of the Ed Council’s scholarship and professional development committee has similar thoughts about taking advantage of an opportunity where issues surrounding education are being discussed nation-wide. “The movie raises important points for everyone to consider,” Crotts says. “It’s not an issue of charter v. public schools. Both can be equally successful or not. It’s about every child deserving a great school. The Curry School strives to develop teacher leaders to help make that happen. We should all care about all children, and I hope this is the take-away from the movie.”
The panel discussion is open to the public and will follow the October 24th 1:15pm screening of Waiting for Superman at the Regal Cinemas, downtown Charlottesville, VA.
At the screening, Ed Council is sponsoring a supply drive for the Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle. The organization, created in 1983, provides one-to-one tutoring to illiterate and under-educated adults in the community. Nearly 150 volunteer tutors are matched with adults and meet approximately 2 hours weekly. The supplies collected will be distributed to tutors and students in the program. Supplies especially needed include dry erase markers, sharpened pencils, pens, spiral notebooks, index cards, reams of standard copy paper, adult backpacks, and gift cards to Staples.