Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching Won't Back Down, the heartbreaking story of one mother's seemingly impossible quest to get a good education for her daughter. It is a good movie no matter where you stand on education reform. The story and the characters are great and even though you kinda know through the whole thing that they are going to win in the end -- it is still riveting.
I say it is a heartbreaker because it exposes how messed up educaiton is in our country. Here in Seattle, 25% of the students in the Seattle School District attend private schools. I am guessing everyone knows which end of the economic scale that is.
In our country, 40.2% of students from top quartile income families achieved a Bachelor's Degree by age 24 in 1970. By 2009 it had improved to 82.4%. At the same time the bottom income quartile students went from 6.2% to 8.3%. See www.postsecondary.org for details.
With these numbers staring us in the face, we should get going and do something. There is no question that there is plenty of blame to go around. It is a shame that all of the press about the movie tries to expand the Teacher's Union vitriol. Anyone who has seen the film realizes that the school administration and the principals and many parents are also standing in the path of progress.
I think the main message in the movie is: our kids are going to jail instead of college while we fight about who is at fault. Everyone has an opinion about who is at fault, I bet that we could agree however, that it is not the kids fault.
So let's do something.
I happen to think voting for I 1240 in WA State is one of those things.