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Waiting for Superman depicted the failure of the public school system and how it is failing the students who are attending these inter-city public schools. Although it did an excellent job attaining testimonies and evidence from teachers who taught at these school and students who attended these schools, the documentary failed to explore some of the reasons why these schools are failing and why students from low-income families and neighborhoods tend to drop out of school and why they perform poorly on standardized tests.
Throughout the documentary they displayed short clips of politicians and group leaders talking about the system failing “our children” and how something must be done to bring up the standardized test scores. However, the documentary didn’t explore the reasons why test scores are low and why inter-city school kids are being failed. Children who attend these inter-city public schools come from low-income families and some live below the poverty line. Due to this situation, many children don’t eat breakfast and go to school expecting either to receive free breakfast or free lunch from the government programs that provide these services. However, due to the cut backs on welfare spending, not all schools that are in dire need of these programs receive these benefits. Those who do not eat breakfast or receive breakfast from school, lack the nutrition they need to have in order to do well on standardized test scores that usually take place in the morning. During the Bush era, the government seemed to have forgotten that nutrition and good standardized test scores go hand in hand when they cut back on welfare and food stamp programs.
That is one of the reasons why inter-city school kids tend to drop out. When they see that they are not performing in school well, many of them decide to drop out so that they may find some source of income and because they do not have a plan to pursue a higher education.
Overall, the documentary did an astounding job showing their audience the reality most kids are living when they explain the charter school system and the way of getting in. The testimonies that they received also further legitimized the problem the documentary brought up.
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