Contact: Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769
David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, released this statement about the controversial documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman’” by Davis Guggenheim, which debuts in Los Angeles theaters today:
“Davis Guggenheim’s latest documentary is evoking strong emotions from viewers. Unfortunately, its simplistic approach fails to provide even a glance at the real challenges and successes in America’s public education system. At a time when public schools across the country, and especially here in California, are reeling from state budget cuts and need the support of all parents, communities and legislatures, along comes this unbalanced film that scapegoats teachers and their unions. We deserve a better script, and so do our students.
“Largely left out of this compelling narrative is an honest view into our public schools. There are millions of educators across this country overcoming amazing obstacles every day to deliver the best education with the resources they have. In fact, there are incredible things happening in public schools that others could learn from and build upon, but you wouldn’t know it from watching this film.
“We all want the best for our students, and that includes making sure all children have access to great teachers in quality neighborhood schools. This should be our national focus and what drives our conversations. We must move on to a responsible conversation about public education in this country -- one that focuses on how we can work together to improve student learning, instead of a partial one that manages to disrespect millions of teachers in just one sitting.
“Our students in our California classrooms aren’t waiting for Superman, they’re just waiting for updated textbooks and other basic school supplies they need to learn -- and for the return of art, music and physical education programs so they can have a well-rounded education.
“A 90-minute documentary can’t sum up the full story of public education. To get the real picture, you are going to have to start talking to teachers.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.