CPS Promoting Superman

The Chicago Public Schools is heavily promoting charter schools by encouraging CPS parents and students to attend the very anti-public education film Waiting For Superman which is also being promoted by big business interests.

According to the CTU, Area 3 was sending busloads of parents to see the film that takes a very critical look at teachers unions and promotes charter schools as the answer to failing schools.

The film plays heavy on dramatics, showing children in tears who have not been picked in a lottery to enter a charter school, even though it’s been documented that no such waiting lists really exist, and the charters are scrambling for students just like the neighborhood schools that have been victimized by gentrification and anti-public school rhetoric from the corporate media.

Last year UNO charter schools which received almost $100 million from a bankrupt state flyers surrounding neighborhoods regularly, while Aspira charter schools, which also received millions in funding even though its test scores have plummeted over the years, offers free computer laptops to prospective students.

One teacher said Hirsch High School had a bus to take people to see the film, though there was no prior announcement, making people suspect that CPS is trying to secretly promote the destruction of public education, while it is in charge of the city’s public education.

“In case anyone is as furious as we are about this, we need your help as we leaflet the parents to protest CPS spending precious educational dollars to send parents to see a movie that trashes public school teachers and glorifies charter schools,” one teacher wrote on the CORE listserve.

It’s not clear how many people protested CPS sending buses to the film. After the film, the parents were treated to a question and answer session before being bused back to the schools.

CPS planned to send buses filled with public school parents and students on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week

It appears that schools chief Ron Huberman, who has said he will leave his post once Mayor Richard Daley finishes his term in office next February, is encouraging many of the area offices to promote the film which makes public school teachers the scapegoat and ignores the sometimes overwhelming social problems children face in neighborhoods of violence and drugs where many schools are targeted for closure or turnaround.

At a time when the Board of Ed claims it is broke and has fired over a thousand teachers due to the budget deficit, it has pumped in over $50 million into the area offices by hiring more managers to provide support as well as evaluate the teachers.

The money is also being used to increase the number of standardized tests children must take, with elementary school children being subjected to more and more hours of literary assessments.

CPS was also providing refreshments for the parents at the film showings, so parents will have their bus transportation, their movie tickets, their popcorn and Junior Mints paid for by Chicago Public Schools, according to the CORE listserve.

A couple of years ago schools chief Arne Duncan, who now is President Obama’s education secretary, encouraged CPS teachers and parents to see the film Freedom Writers, an inspiring film about a writing teacher in a tough LA public school who goes against the odds to encourage her students to write.

But beyond the inspiration, the message was similar – only young and energetic teachers can inspire their students, union protection stands in the way of good teaching, so the star teacher in the film had to quit. 


October 23, 2010 at 11:43 PM

By: Garth Liebhaber

Davis Theater Showing This

The Davis in Lincoln Square is showing this film also. It would be great to have flyers available to counter the film. It feels frustrating as a teacher to work so hard, yet stand by so helplessly as you're being trashed.

I even thought to stand out front of the theater with a sign saying "Ask a REAL Teacher".

I just trolled around some websites looking for a possible informational flier to counter "...Superman" and found this interesting blog:

October 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM

By: Bob


Supermen is Up Yonder

I worked with quite a few Supermen in my 41 years. One was Al Scott another Bob Hambric

John Everett also comes to mind along with Ned McCray. All save one have gone up yonder

where I bet they are treated better than when they walked the earth.

I don’t need some stupid movie based on a comic book to know who the real hero’s

are. Between the four of them they sent more Black kids to college than all the slick Charter

School pitchmen combined. Someday I want to publish the pictures I took at Simeon from

1970 until 1995.Most would still make you throw up. Nothing ever stopped those guys from

doing their jobs, even while the building made more than one person gag for air and run

outside screaming.

They all had guts, discipline, talent, real education degrees, compassion and not once of bullshit

between them. Superman would not have stood a chance against any of them.

October 26, 2010 at 1:09 PM

By: Law Clerk


Do you know that former Schurz principal sued by CPS employees is provided with legal services by the Board?

Free lawyers for Mrs.Folino.

October 26, 2010 at 7:41 PM

By: to law clerk

Schurz former principal

What is the law suit about?

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