Monday, April 4, 2011

Crying Game

I cried on the weekend. I tried to hold it in, but my throat seized up and my eyes prickled and stung, till streams of salty tears flowed down my cheeks.

I cried over a child.

I cried over the deprivation of hundreds of children.

The subject of the American education system may seem dull and perhaps irrelevant for an Aussie to watch. But ‘Waiting For Superman’ has a compelling argument about the multifaceted destruction of the American education system.

The film balances startling data and national policy, with stories of five children and their families. Each child is struggling to achieve basic literary and numerical skills in an extremely complicated and rigid system. A system which rewards crappy teachers to keep doing a crappy job. At the same token, it prevents fantastic teachers doing a fantastic job.

Their opportunity for a better education is based on a lottery.

Some may argue that the film is extremely one-sided, perhaps even anti-unionist. But I don’t think anyone wouldn’t find the lottery utterly heart wrenching, knowing that those who don’t get drawn out are in for a tough battle (life) ahead.

And so I cried.

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