Thursday, February 17, 2011 • 6:42 PM Comments ()

"Superman" Lands in Springfield This Friday

posted by Maureen Turner

Love the idea of charter schools and consider them the best, most innovative and exciting way to revive our failing public education system? Hate charter schools, and consider them feel-good but unproven band aids that undercut teacher unions and divert money from struggling communities?

Whatever your perspective, you’re invited to bring it to the Feb. 18 Springfield premiere of the much-talked-about film “Waiting for Superman.” The 2010 documentary, by Oscar-winning director David Guggenheim (he won the award for a little something called “An Inconvenient Truth”), has won raves for its examination of what’s not working in America’s approach to public education, and well as criticisms for its positive portrayal of charter schools and for—in the words of Cornel West, among others—“scapegoating” teacher unions.

The Springfield screening, which is co-sponsored by the Springfield Institute and AWAKE, will be followed by a panel discussion and audience question-and-answer period. Panelists will include education consultant Ayanna Crawford; Bill Fiore, outreach coordinator of the Springfield Parent Academy, which offers free parenting and skills development courses to families; and Aron Goldman, executive director of the Springfield Institute.

“Rather than take the film’s compelling message at face value, the discussion is intended to help foster a well-rounded and evidence-based discussion of what will work in Springfield,” say organizers of the screening.

More information about the film and the issues it raises can be found at the Springfield Institute’s website.

The screening will be held Friday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. at Entertainment Cinemas in Springfield Plaza (1250 St. James Ave.). Tickets cost $10.

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