In Finding Superman edited by Watson Scott Swail, some of the most prominent educational thinkers of our time examine the pressing issues of educational equity and excellence brought to light in Davis Guggenheim’s popular documentary, Waiting for Superman. The film’s portrayal of U.S. urban public schools as uniform failures and charter schools as the only viable alternative for our nation’s youth demands a closer look. Across the chapters of this important book, the contributors reveal the film’s untold stories. These include the many public schools that are doing an excellent job of educating students, as well as the many charter schools that are doing no better than most public schools, despite their monetary advantages. With chapters from educational luminaries that include Milton Chen, Linda Darling-Hammond, Dan Domenech, Ben Levin, Arthur Levine, Ann Lieberman, John Merrow, Diane Ravitch, Peter Smith, and Watson Scott Swail, Finding Superman demands a new perspective from readers on a topic of urgent importance to all of us. Achieving excellent schools for all children is not an easy task. As these authors remind us, it requires a more balanced dialogue and a fuller range of evidence to realize truly lasting change.
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