February 15th, 2011
05:57 PM ET

'Waiting for "Superman"' explores public school problems

When a hot-button issue and a Hollywood feature cross paths, the result can be a powerful one.

That's the case with Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for 'Superman,'" a documentary that examines the myriad issues students and teachers in public schools face and the programs and people trying to find solutions.

"By getting to know these children - and the mothers and fathers who are fighting for them - then maybe people will be outraged enough to demand real change in their own neighborhoods," Guggenheim has told CNN. "The idea of education reform becomes a lot less abstract and a lot more compelling when you see these beautiful kids and realize all their potential."

In the clip above, which is from a special feature on the just-released DVD, Guggenheim highlights the organizations that are trying to make a difference.

As one student explains, "We're trying to prove that, no matter where you're at - you might be in a bad neighborhood, you might be where people are doubting you - you can do anything you just set your mind to."

"Waiting for 'Superman'" is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray. If you've seen the movie already, what'd you think?

Filed under: movies

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Todd E. Kautzman

    Please, please help. We have big school problems. Teacher threatens to kill someone or himslef in class room, Vo-ag treacher leaves class room unattended frequently while kids work with power tools. These are just ot of many, mant issues we have. School will not respond to public or paretns!!!!!

    May 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Todd E. Kautzman


    May 12, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Oh brother

    Oh yea. Yes, much better...thanks!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TakeAChanceOnMe

    Since when is everyone an expert on what schools need? Teachers are the experts, and yet they are the last people asked. SCHOOL BOARDS, elected by the public and SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS make policy, not teachers! When is the public going to understand that? Give teachers the freedom to do what really needs to be done without shackling them with greedy politics. Teachers get blamed for everything, but teachers are hired by school boards and administrators. If they don't like who they get, then they should stop hiring sub-par educators. Don't blame the teachers. Blame the people who hire teachers and tell teachers what they have to do. Most teachers are powerless to make real changes when school board members are only worried about getting reelected and most administrators have absolutely no clue about what they need to do.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. misspeller hater

    Oh brother and Superhiro. Just so you know, yea (pronounced "yay") is another way of saying "yes." As in "yea or nay." I think what you meant to say was "yeah," meaning that you're in agreement with something. "Oh yeah!!!"

    Just sayin'.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Romaine

    Lettuce pray.

    February 16, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Oh brother

    Oh yea...nothing like handing over the reins to a group of 7th grade philosophical know nothings. You want an education the pay attention and get one. WAY WAY too much $$$ is wasted every year. The US education budget needs a 15% trimming and thats for starters.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nhari

    This was an awe-inspiring film that should be a requirement for school faculty members. My husband and I are buying a copy of the DVD for our son's elementary school through our PTA. Tonight I attended an event where Geoffrey Canada was the speaker, and I assure you it was worth every minute of my time. We, as a nation, can tackle the issues in education one household (one neighborhood/district/state) at a time. It still "takes a village".

    February 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Superhiro

    Yea... didn't this movie come out like last year? Way to stay current CNN.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MyBrothersKeeper

      Dear cynical misspeller, the article is here becasue the DVD is being released Feb. 15...that's today. Way to channel your sacrasm and cynicism.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • seasons1970

      Maybe you should read the blurb CNN wrote... yes, the movie was released last year, but this article is referring to the recent DVD/BlueRay release. Maybe you should get your eyes checked.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |

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