Thursday, October 07, 2010

Waiting for Nowhere

Not to be outdone by "Waiting for Superman," now comes the union point of view.

"Race to Nowhere" which the Washington Post describes as "a quiet counterpoint to the better-known "Waiting for 'Superman,' " which focuses on failing urban schools."

Not wanting to pooh-pooh the documentary juggernaut that celebrates minority kids, parents and community thumbing their noses at conventional public education, the Post explains why that simple (common sense) answer implemented in Harlem can't possibly be expected to work elsewhere:
"Race to Nowhere" explores a different problem, the strains of competing in a pressure-packed academic culture that is highly test-driven and pushes some students to the edge.

Seems the little cherubs in this film are too wound up learning facts and figures to be tested to pass mean old standardized tests.

And SURPRISE! For this flick we have screenings inside schools (guess that's what passes for "quiet" in the eyes of the Post). "Quiet" meaning you'll probably not see a lot of people plunking down $ to see this in a theater like they did "Superman." Sounds like the distribution method for this propaganda piece is to inflict it onto captive PTA audiences or disguise it as a night dedicated to finding answers to education reform. Do you think it's going to be critical of unfit, tired but tenured teachers?

Well, which is it?

Are our schools so poor that we're turning out droves of idiots that (always) need more money -- or -- are they hyper achievement academies that produce stressed-out geniuses all headed to the Ivy League? (The US ranking -18 out of 36 industrialized nations- as evidence to the former. ) Where are all these creative little tykes? Seems a lot of them are posting sex videos and PowerPoints online.

Watch the trailer. Imagine the horror: Sometimes you have to study 6 hours. You have sports to play; instruments to practice. Extracurricular activities to get into a "good" school.

Really? Well, darn, guess that means you can't go out partying with friends, playing video games and watching 6 hours of TV or Facebooking. Our parents would have called it "keeping you off the streets at night."

Sorry, no sympathy here. None of these angels in Race to Nowhere have it more stressful than those defying the odds by growing up poor, minority, in a single parent household, dodging crime and drug dealing AND getting good grades in Harlem.
Buck up, kiddos. The world you enter will expect results, not the creative time and self-esteem you'll enjoy living with your parents until you are 26.

But can you guess which movie wins the “Best Documentary” Oscar?