Waiting for “Superman” essay

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Waiting for “Superman” is a book that clearly describes the situation of some five students who strive to receive quality education. The stories of these students are sidelined by a number of chapters from different prominent authors. This book illustrates the general situation of American education. The education system in the American public school undergoes a major crisis. It is slowly eating up the schools internally, but yet an alarm has not been raised. It is just like an inferno beginning its devastation from the bedroom before the actual flames can be visible from the outside. This is the situation of the American schools, whereby there are about millions of students falling out of schools, giving forth to a mammoth number of drop-outs as graduates. This in turn becomes a looming act of terrorism on the economic future of the United States of America. This is depicted by statistics that indicate that by the year 2020, America would be left with about 123 million jobs requiring high schools to fill and a relatively less that 50 million citizens available and having the necessary qualifications to fill them (Weber, 2010). Would this mean that Americans would import workers from other countries who have managed to stabilize their education system? Nevertheless, amidst turmoil in the education sector, there are still selfless individuals who posses unflinching determination to see out that the education system do not roll down to a deep valley. These include politicians, educators, business people, parents, and other citizens who have the general welfare of the country at heart.

The book Waiting for “Superman” by Karl Weber shapes up this discussion elusively. Actually, this book is an inspiring call for passing of reforms in the education sector in the United States of America by availing powerful insights from great educational innovators such as Geoffrey Canada, Melinda Gates, Michelle Rhee, Davis Guggenheim, and Eric Schwarz, among other prominent people. This is made possible by a special edition of book containing ideas, hand-on suggestions, and resources that can be organized in the right manner to improve schools in communities and the nation as a whole. Therefore, this paper is a book review of Waiting for “Superman,” presenting a detailed discussion of some of striking matters that emanate from the context of the book such as social justice and political barriers to good education, among other weighty issues.

Issues of Social Injustice

 Social injustice is becoming like a small deadly monster in the park. This is based on the fact that it has taken deeper roots in the American education system, and unless a proper action is taken, the whole condition would continue to deteriorate. It is a humbling experience to find out that most schools do not progress and give out quality education due to lack of support from the relevant bodies such as government and other institutions of socialization. As depicted in the book, this narrows down to teachers having a lot of morale or motivation to give their best to students, but no one is there for them. They thrive under very harsh conditions and are not well able to take care of the welfare of the innocent children in schools. This menace is magnified only in public schools but not in private ones, which leads to gross injustice as those parents with heavily loaded pockets are able to take their children to highly established schools with modern facilities and quality teaching, while those in the middle class or low working class can only allow their children learn in public schools, which are currently in a wanting situation. The whole of this matter is crowned by great difference between the rich and the poor. It is wrong for those who are in a position of giving a hand to withhold what they can offer, and yet great potentialities are wasted and some are even buried. 

How Social Injustice is a Matter

Social Injustice is a pressing matter in this case because students are not able to reach their maximum potential. As depicted by one of the authors, the United States of America is 25th in ranking in math and 21st in science among 30 most developed countries in the world. It is even shocking to discover that barely 60% manage to graduate from high school, thus raising a striking argument as to whether access to quality education is so far the most disturbing issue pertaining to civil rights in our time (Weber, 2010, p. 49). This is further illustrated in the book by a case study that indicates that the largest percentage of prison inmates is dropouts from high school (Weber, 2010). Due to the current economic situation, most of such high school dropouts resort to social misfits and evils such as drug peddling, robbery with violence, idleness, rape, prostitution, and joining evil sects in the community. This implies that as social injustice goes to the peak, Americans would have to be ready for social upheaval. Furthermore, it is much more costly to the state to imprison an individual for one year than to educate another for the same period of time. Sadly, high school graduates later in life earn very little salary as compared to a graduate from a college or university. Therefore, social injustice is something worth voicing and raising alarm about in order to rescue the education sector since it is not only the educational sector that suffers when students drop out but the whole community and economic sector as well as the government, who has not passed favorable policies to deal with this issue in general.

Barriers to the Problems

The book depicts that these problems are notable but for a long time have not been solvable for the country. One of the barriers in this context is fruitless policies. Most of the policies in the education sector can be best termed as insipid and wayward; for instance, the author highlights the policy of merit pay for teachers on the basis of the performance of students. The author makes it clear that such policies are worthless since there are no proper and realistic or tangible plans for implementation of these policies. Notably, Waiting for “Superman” gives out very insightful perspectives as well as legitimate proposals that can be laid as platforms for reforms. However, the author also notes that lack of cohesion or togetherness, comprehensive analysis and empirical evidence tales down the effectiveness and workability of the education policies in the United States of America. 

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