I'm in the midst of watching this program, and in the intro, Melinda Gates states that no one is noticing the decline of American education. Hello?!?! Talk to any teacher... go to any education conference... we teachers are acutely aware of the realities discussed in this program. It's about time Oprah drew attention to what we already know.
I'm also struck by the comment of a Harper High student (Harper is in Chicago) when touring Nequa Valley High School. She said something along the lines of the nicest Chicago school could not compare to the Naperville school. It's about time that people living in Chicago saw how other schools operate. I have always felt that many people have been completely unware of the HUGE discrepencies in educational institutions.
I attended schools throughout my life that were more than adequately funded, and I just assumed that all other schools were like mine. In college, I became aware that this was not the case, particularly after I read a series on the Tribune that focused on Goudy School in Chicago. That series partly motivated my decision to particpate in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest's Urban Ed program and to subsequently teaching in Chicago Public Schools.
Other thoughts going through my brain.... good education is expensive. Let's fund things properly. Secondly, the way we are doing things isn't working as effectively as we thought. Why aren't educators thinking more about innovation? Let's start thinking outside the box people!