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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let’s Get the “How to Fix Education” Conversation Going!

Waiting for Superman, a new documentary about the U.S. educational system, has generated a lot of media attention.  While we don’t necessarily agree with every opinion or solution offered in the film, it does contain some sobering truths.

For instance:
  • We spend more money to incarcerate someone for four years than it would cost to educate the same inmate in private school for 12 years
  • Great teachers make all the difference
  • Parental involvement is key to making sure your child receives the best possible education.
Waiting for Superman may not be the Citizen Kane of education- themed movies, but it is a great way to get a conversation about public education started!  And that is one of our goals as Education Voters of Pennsylvania.  Now how can we KEEP the conversation going?
How about hosting a “movie night” at your home and inviting your neighbors, colleagues, or other parents in your children’s class?  Some recommended flicks that are sure to get people talking:
The Lottery
I am a Promise (the children of Stanton Elementary School)
Paper Clips Project
Race to Nowhere

With some popcorn and other movie-themed snacks, this is a fun, informal way to encourage discussion about the schools in your community --  what’s working, and what needs to be improved?   In these tough economic times, how can we convince elected officials that investing in public education is the right thing to do?  How can we train and better support talented educators?  Does your school district offer enough early childhood education programs or special education programs?    

With the General Election less than 3 weeks away, this is also a good time to talk about what education issues Pennsylvania’s next Governor should focus on.  Ask your guests to sign a “Pledge to Vote” card (call 215-564-2299 to receive cards) and follow up with them on Election Day to make sure they kept their promise!

Better yet, a representative from Education Voters would be happy to attend your gathering and share specific information about the challenges facing schools in Pennsylvania – we’ll bring lots of hand-outs and even a cool PowerPoint presentation! 

Leave a comment here and let us know how your “movie night” went… or if we missed any great education-themed movies.  And keep talking about the importance of public education! 

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