Chinese Interpretation of Waiting for Superman

I love how even Chinese communists understand the problems with local government monopolies and teacher union control of schools.

Update — As Chan noted in the comments, this was probably made in Taiwan, not communist China.  No matter, I was just trying to be as over-the-top as the video.  Gotta love Adrian Fenty with a machine gun.

9 Responses to Chinese Interpretation of Waiting for Superman

  1. matthewladner says:


  2. Chan Stroman says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, this was produced by Taiwanese animators (i.e. very much not Chinese Communist). Spot-on regardless. Cheers!

  3. Good point, Chan. But I was just trying to be as over-the-top as the video.

  4. […] It’s Friday. Time to lighten up with a 90-second summary of the new education reform movie Waiting for Superman produced by Taiwanese animators, a video you simply have to see to believe (H/T Jay Greene): […]

  5. Of course, it’s far more complicated than a two-minute cartoon. In fact, it’s far more complicated than a two-hour movie. The problem, of course, is that the thesis is a mile wide and two inches deep.

    The problems have to be as much about ineffective administration granting tenure in the first place, as it is about unions who, in pursuing simple “due process” have overreached in the steps necessary for dismissal.

    And let’s not dismiss the dominance of teachers unions in the Asian and European schools of which we are so jealous when test scores come out. One of the keys in those systems is great competition and accountability on students.

    That said, after watching the movie, my gut reaction was simply, “Let them all go. Just move the money and hire more teachers. It could be that simple.”

  6. Greg Forster says:

    Administrators don’t really have a free choice of whom to hire or whether to grant tenure. I’m not saying that we don’t have a problem with administrative competence (which really derives from the fact that we draw our principals from the teaching labor pool) but administrators can’t be blamed for making bad decisions about tenure when the decisions aren’t in their hands.

  7. At what schools don’t administrators have the power on hiring and, especially, retaining for three consecutive years? Are you saying teacher evaluations mean nothing? Not at any school that I’ve heard about or work.

    Greg, we’ve had this discussion before – and I concede that the steps of many labor contracts are pretty convoluted. But that’ not true for probationary teachers. No due process is required. And I don’t believe that really good teachers suddenly go bad.

    The problem, perhaps, is overworked administrators – and that was a major criticism of Colorado’s new law that allows the tenure to be revoked after two years of unsatisfactory reviews. It also mandates full formal evaluations for all teachers every year. Critics asked where the money to hire all these extra evaluators was going to come from, because the practice isn’t possible with current staff.

    The other problem is 99% of teachers receiving satisfactory reviews – even probationary ones. No due process is required for such reviews or dismissal. Additionally, DPS and Chicago Public Schools have made a practice of dismissing entire staffs at the end of a contract and requiring all to reapply. It works in getting rid of unwanted teachers, but it doesn’t guarantee better school.

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