November 1, 2010
Rhoads� instrumental in viewing of �Waiting for Superman�
Seeing an opportunity for students and faculty to hear about education
concerns through another format than in class, Julie Rhoads, director
of education and service learning, recently reserved a theater to screen
the documentary "Waiting for Superman", which focuses on
the American education system.
About eight months ago Rhoads came across the trailer for “Waiting for Superman” and quickly recognized some of the parallels to a segment done by John Stossel on 20/20 titled “Stupid in America”.
Once the release date for “Waiting for Superman” was announced, Rhoads investigated options for viewing.
Given the documentary stems around the field of education and the limited amount of time it would show if it made it to theatres, Rhoads put in a request to reserve a screen at the Warren Theatre-East.
"Waiting for Superman" focuses on public education in major urban areas in the United States. Its title implies students are waiting for a super hero to save them, and their schools.
“Knowing that one of the goals of the Obama administration was to address the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) I felt viewing the documentary was important,” Rhoads said. “Often perceptions stem from a documentary like this and can lead to political action. Educators and students need to be aware of the perceptions and how those might affect the reauthorization of ESEA.”
When Rhoads began sending emails out about the private showing, she was overwhelmed with the response. Emails came from across the state. Attending were faculty and students from Cowley College, Butler Community College, Wichita State University, USD 259, USD 260, USD 261, Child Care Aware and more.
“Seeing colleagues and future students come together for the event was exciting,” Rhoads said. “Most of those I have visited with appreciated the documentary but wanted more - some felt it was just simply a recap of information they already knew. Others had strong opinions concerning negotiated agreements (both for and against). Overall, everyone realized that a variety of factors go into an educational system and addressing any one factor will not produce the desired results. A number of contributions must come together to develop the most effective learning environments.”