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Forget Waiting for Superman. Read This Instead

There are two things people have asked me to blog about: Common Core Standards and Waiting for Superman.

I am preparing an overview blog on the Common Core standards, that will look at why, how, when, and potential impact for arts education. That’s on the worktable, so to speak.

As for Waiting for Superman, rather than blog on the movie, oddly enough, I suggest you click on over to the NY Times and read this article about advancing from bubble tests.

By shifting our assessment techniques, we would learn more of what we
really need to know about how children, teachers and schools are doing.
And testing could be returned to its rightful place as one tool among
many for improving schools, rather than serving as a weapon that
degrades the experience for teachers and students alike.

And, click on through too, to the Letters to the Editor, published today, for a bit of complement.

And, because I never know when to shut up, here are four links I would urge you to click through for some interesting perspectives about Waiting for Superman. And as for my blog on the subject, don’t expect a rave for something that I have a tend to view as being less than productive.

Aaron Pallas/, An Inconvenient Truthiness

Flypaper/Fordham Institute, Cracking the Code or Ed Reformers on Crack?

Diane Ravitch/Ed Week, Why Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty Lost

Dana Goldstein/The Nation, Grading Waiting for Superman

Anthony Cody/Ed Week, OprahPaganda

Hummm….maybe I don’t need to write anything after all!


  1. Greetings Mr. Kessler,
    I am writing to invite you to the New York premiere of the documentary Chekhov for Children, screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on Thursday, October 21st at 6:30pm. The 2010 Telluride Film Festival had this to say: “Chekhov for Children is a moving, honest exploration of the nature of childhood, a loving paean to the Upper West Side of the late ’70s…Freyer’s unexpected and charming film transcends simple nostalgia to explore deeper, more complex emotional terrain.”
    Chekhov for Children tells the inspiring story of an ambitious undertaking – the 1979 staging on Broadway of Uncle Vanya by New York City public school 5th & 6th graders, directed by the celebrated New York writer Phillip Lopate. Using a wealth of never-before-screened grade-school student documentary videos and dramatic super 8mm films from the era, Chekhov for Children explores the interplay between art and life for a dozen friends across 30 years. While it is not an obviously “political” film, Chekhov for Children raises important historical and contemporary rebuttals to the broad falsehoods introduced into the national education discourse by “Waiting for Superman” (among many other trends).
    I would be happy to send you a DVD screener of the film and/or have a free ticket reserved in your name at the box office.
    I thank you for your time and attention, and very much hope to hear from you.
    Sasha Waters Freyer
    Chekhov for Children

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