Residents Participate in Local Education Forum

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(Lansing, MI) – On Monday, May 16 State Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) hosted a free public screening of the education documentary Waiting for Superman. Immediately following the screening was a panel discussion focused on the issues raised in the film.

The evening’s panelists included: Senate Education Committee members Patrick Colbeck and Hoon-Yung Hoopgood (D-Taylor), chief of staff for Senator Bert Johnson (D- Highland Park) Adam Hollier and former senator and Education Committee chair Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland).

“I hosted this movie screening and forum in order to bring together parents, teachers and legislators in a setting where ideas for reforming our state’s education system could be discussed openly,” Colbeck said. “The movie Waiting for Superman served as a catalyst for the conversation about how we promote highly-qualified teachers in all of our classrooms and ensure a quality education for all of our students.

“Many people have asked me why show this movie. My response is that I believe it’s important to remember that through all of the discussions about spending, education reform, and administrative logistics there are real people behind the scenes that don’t often get a voice in this conversation that are struggling to do what’s best for the children.

“There are excellent teachers in every school – from public to private to charter – and the goal is not to pit one type of education option against another but rather to ensure a quality education is available through all education avenues.

“I would like to thank all of those who took time out of their busy schedule to participate in the forum and help shape the education policy of our state for future generations,” Colbeck concluded.

The film was directed by Davis Guggenheim who also directed Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The movie follows five children and their parents/guardians as they make their way through our education system.

The documentary has won critical acclaim from film critics, the media and members of the education community. Time magazine reviewed the movie and concluded, “This is more than an Important Documentary: it is engaging and, finally, enraging — as captivating as any Superman movie, and as poignant as a child's plea for help.”
 

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