Here’s an essay about the movie Won’t Back Down from Nancy Schniedewind (Professor at SUNY New Paltz and co-editor with Mara Sapon-Shevin of Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education) and Julie Woestehoff (contributor to Educational Courage):
Walden Media’s Won’t Back Down portrays the heroism of one parent and one teacher fighting harmful educational practices by taking over their school. Their victory is as mythic as it is misleading. Those who should be celebrated by such media attention are the real-life heroes at the grassroots who have been fighting for meaningful educational change day-to-day, year-to-year.
You can read the rest of the story online here.
More about right-wing funded corporate propaganda disguised as a major motion picture:
The first thing to know about Friday’s opening of the school-choice drama “Won’t Back Down” is that the film’s production company specializes in children’s fantasy fare such as the “Tooth Fairy” and “Chronicles of Narnia” series. The second thing is that this company, Walden Media, is linked at the highest levels to the real-world adult alliance of corporate and far-right ideological interest groups that constitutes the so-called education reform movement, more accurately described as the education privatization movement. The third thing, and the one most likely to be passed over in the debate surrounding “Won’t Back Down” (reviewed here, and not kindly, by Salon’s own Andrew O’Hehir), is that Walden Media is itself an educational content company with a commercial interest in expanding private-sector access to American K-12 education, or what Rupert Murdoch, Walden’s distribution partner on “Won’t Back Down,” lip-lickingly calls “a $50 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed.”
You can read the rest of the story here.
Andrew O’Hehir’s column on Salon.com describes this movie as ” … an offensive, lame, union-bashing drama, which somehow stars Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal.”
Here are a few excerpts from this article:
So teachers’ unions don’t care about kids. Oh, and luck is a foxy lady. This is what I took away from the inept and bizarre “Won’t Back Down,” a set of right-wing anti-union talking points disguised (with very limited success) as a mainstream motion-picture-type product. Someone needs to launch an investigation into what combination of crimes, dares, alcoholic binges and lapses in judgment got Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal into this movie. Neither of them seems likely to sympathize with its thinly veiled labor-bashing agenda and, way more to the point, I thought they had better taste. Maybe it was that actor-y thing where they saw potential in their characters – a feisty, working-class single mom for Gyllenhaal, a sober middle-class schoolteacher for Davis – liked the idea of working together and didn’t think too much about the big picture.
More news on the so-called “school reform” programs pushed by Gov. Jindal …
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Association of Educators President Joyce Haynes says she and others tried to stop passage of legislation that creates what she terms “an unconstitutional voucher program” at the statehouse, so the next stop was the courthouse.
“We tried to convince the Legislature that the proposed laws were unconstitutional, but they were unmoved by our pleas,” Haynes said Friday. “It’s now time for us to appeal to the courts.”
The LAE lawsuit was filed weeks after the Louisiana Federation of Teachers filed a similar lawsuit against Act 2, which implements the statewide voucher program, among other things.
Later Friday, the two lawsuits were merged into one suit to be heard by 19th Judicial District Judge Timothy Kelley.
You can read the rest of this story online here.
If you’re wondering why school vouchers and trashing teachers’ unions is this year’s trend for Republican state governors, check out this coverage on Politico’s web site:
GOP governors seeking A’s on education
A crop of ambitious Republican governors who are possible vice-presidential picks in 2012 are seeking high marks on education reform.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are trash-talking teachers’ unions and pushing for education legislation with a conservative spin in the name of the poorest students. Their efforts could help women warm to Republicans in a year when presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is lagging by double-digits behind President Barack Obama with the key demographic.
You can read the rest of the story here.