With Waiting for Superman, Director Davis Guggenheim (of those Guggenheims and actress Elisabeth Shue's husband) does for public education what he did for global warming a few years back with An Inconvenient Truth.
There are those who still say global warming is a hoax orchestrated by the liberal media. This critic does not believe there's anyone who will watch this film and contend that it's slanted or half-true. Our public school system is a disgrace, and if global warming doesn't cause the oceans to rise and destroy us in the new couple of generations, then the dummies coming out of our drop-out factories will surely destroy us, anyway.
Guggenheim tries admirably to find some reasons for hope. But, the overwhelming feeling one is left with is despair. We have failed at educating our populace, and the rest of the industrialized world has long since surpassed us.
If you've ever gotten angry about U.S. jobs being outsourced to India and elsewhere, you need to see this film. It's not just cheap labor that led U.S. companies to send jobs overseas. It's, at least in part, that U.S. schools hadn't produced enough workers with the right technical skills. Shame on us.
This film is not an indictment of all public schools and teachers -- far from it. But, it lays blame on politicians, incompetent teachers and especially the behemoth teachers' unions that are more concerned with giving tenure to teachers (even those who shouldn't be given the privilege of teaching) than with educating kids.
This is essential viewing. See it.