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NEPC Review: Waiting for Superman

Directed by Davis Guggenheim, Waiting for Superman offers what appear to be straightforward, commonsense solutions to inequities in schooling. The film argues that heroic action can be taken to fix what it portrays as the disaster of public schooling. The film disregards poverty as a factor in school performance and connection—and therefore never addresses anti-poverty measures as potential solutions to the problems it identifies. While it raises issues that demand attention, including achievement gaps, high drop-out rates in some schools and districts, and the need for committed, well-prepared teachers, it offers solutions that are simplified, ignore research evidence, and are built on false assumptions.

Suggested Citation: Dutro, E. (2011). Review of “Waiting for Superman.” Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from

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