We ‘Won’t Back Down’ For Educational Options
Last night, I attended a screening of the new movie “Won’t Back Down” at the Hi-Pointe Theatre in Saint Louis. (Which I might add, is not a boring documentary — go see it.) StudentsFirst held the screening to bring awareness to the education reform movement here in Missouri.
“Won’t Back Down” highlights the important message that every child deserves good teachers. Parents do not have to let their children suffer in failing schools.
The movie follows single mother Jamie, who works two jobs and wants desperately for her daughter Malia to have a second-grade teacher who cares about teaching. But Malia’s teacher at the local public school, like many others, is focused on passing the time before she can collect her pension and get the heck out of there.
When we are unhappy with a service in the private market — our dry cleaner, for example — we can easily choose to stop bringing our clothes to that location. We have other choices. I realize that schooling is a bit more complicated than dry cleaning, but the point is this: with schools, parents often do not have the choice to send their kids to a different location that will provide a better education. Sure, your child can go to a private school if you have the money. But many Americans cannot afford it.
Almost all parents pay taxes to support public education. Why should they be forced to pay for and send their children into a system that is not working? Parents need more choices.
In “Won’t Back Down,” Jamie works tirelessly to fight for a better education for her daughter, and she succeeds with the help of caring teachers. Here in Missouri, parents face many of the same obstacles. Jamie shows us that parents do not have to accept a failing school. Change is possible.
To learn more about education issues, watch these videos: Teacher Tenure: Time for a Change, Charter School Benefits and Research, and Can We Improve Urban Schools?