Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dads are the 'Supermen' students need

The new documentary, Waiting For Superman seems to be a good one.

Roland C. Warren:
The film's title is intended to be a metaphor: America's schoolchildren wait for a savior to come and fix a system that prevents kids from achieving their potential, in the same way people would wait for Superman to arrive at the last minute to save a runaway school bus about to plunge off a bridge...

Of the five families portrayed in "Waiting for 'Superman,'" the father appears to be living in the home in three of them. And only one of those dads says a word on camera throughout the film. His daughter, Daisy, incidentally, seems to be the most ambitious and least troubled of the group.

All of the other family interviews are with moms and grandmothers. Dad is in the background. Education is apparently mom's territory. In one scene, a mom is shown trying to help her three young children do their homework. Where is the father? Another mom is struggling to keep her apartment and pay parochial school tuition. Where is the father?

As many as eight in 10 children in many of our nation's most disadvantaged neighborhoods live in father-absent homes. Study after study confirms children from father-absent homes are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to repeat a grade, less likely to enjoy school, less likely to be read to on a daily basis, less likely to get A's and more likely to misbehave in school.

Read the rest here.

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