The much-hyped movie “Waiting for Superman” has been the focus this week of a media campaign that scapegoats teachers and their unions for all the ills of the nation’s schools, while portraying the operators of select charter schools and self-designated “school reformers” as heroes.
The movie doesn’t come close to telling the full story of what’s happening in public education today. For the rest of the story, we encourage you (and anyone else you know who is truly concerned about educational opportunity for all our students) to visit the AFT Web “Not Waiting for Superman” Web site, www.aft.org/notwaiting, where AFT members talk about what the movie leaves out. The site features profiles of many great public schools across the land, as well as productive labor-management efforts in which local AFT unions have used the collective-bargaining process to implement major school improvements. You’ll also find information there on many local efforts, supported by the AFT Innovation Fund, where AFT members have taken the lead in improving teaching and learning—not waiting for or taking a back seat to anybody in the effort to help our students succeed in the classroom and in life. These efforts include revamping preparatory programs for teachers, radically overhauling teacher development and evaluation, strengthening curriculum, and school-community collaborations that creates favorable learning conditions for all children.