Hypocrisy In Waiting For Superman

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Register to read the introduction…The film focuses on public school failure and highlights the benefits of the charter school system. Diane Ravitch, an educational policy analyst and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, articulates her disapproval with the film in her piece, “The Myth of Charter Schools,” posted in The New York Review of Books. Ravitch spends much of her article discussing the documentary’s inconsistencies, faulty information, and general lack of fair analysis of the American public school system. In particular, she claims that the comparison between the charter and public school system in the film is unfair. Ravitch argues that Waiting for “Superman” is a misleading documentary that showcases incorrect statistics, hypocrisy, and promotion for what she believes to be the harmful privatization of…show more content…
Additionally, she believes that Guggenheim uses incorrect evidence and deliberately omits certain statistics in order to advance the film’s propaganda. Ravitch attacks several of Guggenheim’s “facts”, such as in the subject areas of poverty, the link between teachers and student achievement, student academic performance, and international educational methodology. In terms of this film’s many pieces of false data, Ravitch states: “Perhaps the greatest distortion in this film is its misrepresentation of data about student academic performance. The film claims that 70 percent of eight-grade students cannot read at grade level. This is flatly wrong. … I know how misleading Guggenheim’s numbers are… 25 percent of the national sample, not 70 percent. (Page 7).” This statement is just one of the many examples where Ravitch tears apart Guggenheim’s statistics. Ravitch’s words of “distortion”, “misrepresentation”, “flatly wrong”, and “misleading numbers” truly reflect her opinion about Guggenheim’s documentary. Additionally, Ravitch points out the inconsistencies in Guggenheim’s argument and the hypocrisy in the film several times. She states: “While blasting the teacher’s unions, he points to Finland as a nation whose educational system the US should emulate, not bothering to explain that it has a completely unionized teaching force. … Guggenheim simply ignores the…show more content…
At the same time, she also concedes the fact that the public school system could use improvement. She states: “Public education is one of the cornerstones of American democracy. The public schools must accept everyone who appears at their doors… The schools should be far better than they are now, but privatizing them is no solution…. No one has to win a lottery to gain admission (Page 11).” Ravitch additionally includes a detailed approach to improving the public school system. Unlike Guggenheim, Ravitch is realistic in terms of the pros and cons and is willing to admit that no academic system is perfect.
Based on Ravitch’s fact-checking analysis on the documentary, it is apparent that Guggenheim uses incorrect and distorted facts in his argument. Ravitch essentially discredits his film while at the same time providing a neat and balanced solution to America’s schooling problem. As Ravitch points out, public schools do not discriminate based on race, class, disability, or language: something that the charter system can do. Everyone is welcome in the public school system – it is not selective and no child is left
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