Waiting for Superman was just the beginning. We may be seeing the tipping point in public opinion about the need for public school reform playing out --literally--before our eyes. When Hollywood 'gets it' anyone can and President Obama and his teachers unions acolytes may want to prepare for the backlash this election.
As I patiently awaited for the showing of the exquisite 2016: Obama's America the other day, I was treated to the trailers of two new movies--both about the how kids are failed by public schools. I was stunned.
The most surprising is the Maggie Gyllenhaal movie, "Won't Back Down," about a mother who fights for school choice for her academically delayed daughter. You may as well call this one Waiting for SuperMOM.
Gyllenhaal, Holly Hunter and Viola Davis are tired of the teacher's union running the schools for the adults instead of the kids. Her kid's academic career is going backwards in the public schools and she decides to take over. Viola Davis' character --the educator chosen to lead the effort--admits she's going to have to work a little harder than she has been to make the school work for the kids.
The teachers and administrators rebel against their efforts and parents are afraid of change, but ultimately they get their new school.
Trailer for Won't Back Down:
As you might imagine, this movie is getting 'rave' reviews from "parents" groups and teachers unions (here).
At the other extreme is a movie about a lazy teacher who's been phoning-it-in to his classroom for years. The slovenly, perpetually late slacker, played by Kevin James, has a sudden pang of conscience when he realizes that budget cuts are going to kill music and art programs. He suggests the teachers raise the money. Unsaid in the trailer is whether teacher retirement, perks and pay got the schools into the mess in the first place.
While watching TV with his hunky friends, James sees an MMA match and discovers that, even in losing, there's money to be made. He starts training because-- apparently this MMA thing looks pretty easy-- and eventually begins his cage fighting career. I'm pretty sure a montage is involved.
As a result of putting in more effort to be a better teacher and human being he begins to start caring again about his students and teaching. I'm pretty sure he gets the girl (Salma Hayak) at the end too.
Trailer for Here Comes the Boom:
For years the Cato Institute, Cascade Policy Institute and other free market think tanks have identified school reform and school choice as THE civil rights issues of the future.
Teachers unions and their Democrat protectors in office had better pay attention to this phenomenon because Hollywood has.