Waiting for Superman: Guggenheim's Docu about American Education is Must-See

"Waiting for Superman," directed by Davis Guggenheim, is a new documentary focusing on the flaws of the American public education system. The film is being released by Paramount Vantage on September 24.

  • Since 1971, educational spending in the U.S. has more than doubled from $4,300 per student to more than $9000 per student, adjusted for inflation. In that same time period, reading and math scores have remained flat in the U.S., and risen in virtually every other country.
  • Each year, about 1.2 million students in the U.S. fail to graduate from high school. High-school dropouts are more likely to earn low wages, go to jail and even live shorter lives. 
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  • For each year's dropouts, America loses about $192 billion in lost income and taxes 
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  • Among 30 developed countries, the U.S. is ranked 25th in math and 21st in science. 
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  • Eight years into No Child Left Behind, the U.S. has four years left to reach the landmark education act's goal of 100% proficiency in math and reading. Most states currently hover around 20 or 30% proficiency. 70% of 8th graders in the U.S. cannot read at grade level. 
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  • By the year 2020, 123 million American jobs will be high skill/high pay, but only 50 million Americans will be qualified to fill them. 
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  • For every year of schooling, the odds that a student will someday commit a serious felony such as murder or assault are reduced by almost a third. Americans currently spend on each individual prisoner more than twice what we spend on individual students. 
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  • In Illinois, one in 57 doctors lose their medical licenses; one in 97 attorneys lose their law licenses; but for teachers, only one in 2,500 have ever lost their credentials.