Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Last Thursday I attended the premiere of the Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman along with around 700 other people in Harlem. This educator and parent produced film is the response to the highly misleading documentary glorifying charter schools called Waiting for Superman.

What a pleasure it was to see the new movie in which teachers and parents worked together to produce a quality work that tells us what is really going on inside our nation's public schools.

It is a hopeful sign when you see regular people take the "Do it Yourself" philosophy to a new level. It also felt good to watch young veteran teachers Brian Jones and Julie Cavanaugh as the stars of the film.

The audience at the premiere was a diverse group of educators, parents, students and activists.

The Grassroots Education Movement that produced the film consists of retirees, veteran teachers, new teachers and non teachers too. People who are united by a common agenda to support public education and fight back against the so called reformers who are actually trying to destroy our public schools.

In addition, this was the first time I have ever heard Diane Ravitch speak live. She led a panel discussion after the film along with a student, a parent and two teachers that was quite enlightening. Professor Ravitch lives up to the hype and we thank our lucky stars that a person of such high regard is leading the battle against so called school reform.

Finally, it wouldn't be a James Eterno story if I didn't put in a plug for the kids from my school. So with an apology to the reader who hates that I like to talk about Jamaica High School, a school that is at the center of the school closing controversy, the names of the two students from Jamaica who appear in the film are Syeeda Nasim, a sophomore, and Kevin Gonzalez, a senior. I hope in future editions they get credited.

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