IS SOMETHING IN THE WIND? – AT 9:10 A.M. ET: We don't normally look to Hollywood for films that advance a conservative position. In fact, some have accused today's Hollywood of running a virtual blacklist of conservatives.
And yet, there is a new film about to come out that seems to break the mold. Conservative writer Naomi Riley reports in the New York Post:
Maggie Gyllenhaal, the ultimate hipster actress, stars in “Won’t Back Down,” an education-reform drama that hits theaters next month. When did school choice became cool?
The film is the tale of two parents (one a teacher) who decide to save their own kids and many others by taking over a failing school in a poor Pittsburgh neighborhood.
This follows “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” the 2010 documentary that depicted the fortunes of those desperately competing for a place at a charter school — from the same progressive filmmaker who gave us “An Inconvenient Truth.”
In fact, a whole lot of 20- and 30-somethings across the political spectrum now believe something’s seriously flawed in our public-education system. (You can bet Gyllenhaal wouldn’t have taken the role otherwise.)
In his new book “The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City,” Alan Ehrenhalt describes how more affluent Americans are staying in or moving to urban areas. With crime at all-time lows, cities look increasingly attractive to young couples starting families. But all the baby-friendly beer gardens and organic kids-clothing boutiques can’t make up for terrible schools.
In New Orleans for a few days this spring, I kept tripping over TFA alums and charter-school organizers. They’re marrying each other, having kids and staying in the city. The heroes of this burgeoning education-reform community are people like Michele Rhee and her husband (Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star) Kevin Johnson; their efforts are funded by upstart Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
A survey released last week by the Fordham Foundation shows that public opinion is firmly against “Last In, First Out,” the signature union policy that rewards seniority over teaching ability.
By a 74 percent to 18 percent margin, respondents believe that teachers with poor performance should be “laid off first and those with excellent performance protected” rather than have “newcomers laid off first and veteran teachers protected.”
Finally, a popular trend worth getting behind.
COMMENT: I'm looking forward to the movie. I won't be convinced until I see it. Will it truly support the "choice" movement, or will the lefties insert something at the end to ruin the message? We will review. But if it's the real thing, it's exciting.
August 9, 2012