A System Of Failure Essay

2280 words - 9 pages

In 1938, the brainchild of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster first appeared in Action Comics. Deemed Superman, the mythical hero was dedicated to fight for social justice and overthrow tyranny. Soon after, his iconic flashy red cape and tight blue bodysuit graced the shelves of comic shops as he flew straight into the hearts and minds of fellow Americans faster than a speeding bullet. In spite of being a very foreign immigrant, Superman has long been portrayed as a loyal patriot fighting for "truth, justice and the American way". Through the years however, the meaning of “American way” has become increasingly complex not only in superhero comics but in modern society as well. The unfolding scenarios of the storylines often take on a greater role by emulating present-day events and confronting ethical and political complexities rather than simple black and white principles. In one of the most memorable scenes from the 1978 movie “Superman: The Movie”, Superman rescues a school bus full of children hovering off the Golden Gate Bridge. Flashing forward to present day America reveals a nation filled with weak educators, extreme budget cuts and very much in need of the same Man of Steel to swoop in and save the day. In these dire times, America can’t survive off muscles any longer. Jobs for middle class development are limited; manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, the agriculture industry depends large upon immigrant workers and the professional sector steadily replaces domestic workers with foreign ones due to the worldwide surplus of highly educated workers. Educated minds are a necessity for the upcoming generation of working-class Americans. It’s hard to ignore that America is dangling upon the precipice of educational reform. While we may not lose sleepless nights turning and tossing over our country’s educational woes, it’s evident that our educational system is lagging behind those of its counterparts. For a nation that proudly acknowledged that no child shall be left behind, it is perplexing that the actions of the American public school system suggest otherwise. The 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman reveals an impassioned and insightful feature into the lives of five academically ambitious children and their efforts to gain a coveted spot in a charter school. Waiting for Superman asserts that our nation’s future is contingent upon quality instructors and that the over-protection of bad teachers by powerful teachers’ unions essentially ensures mediocrity, in both students and teachers alike.
The plot of Waiting for Superman vividly weaves together a memorable tale of five economically disadvantaged children who are desperate to escape the failing public school system. With more than 1.2 million students dropping out of school every year, the film depicts public education as a failed enterprise (“Statistics on American”, n.d.). However, admission into charter schools is subject to winning a random lottery where the odds are...

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