Image: Joe Scarborough panel
Director Davis Guggenheim, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, and Geoffrey Canada, president and chief executive officer for Harlem Children's Zone, discuss "Waiting for Superman."
NBC News
updated 9/26/2010 9:59:38 PM ET 2010-09-27T01:59:38

America must find ways for teaching innovation to spread across the country, an education reform advocate said Sunday.

"We're in a crisis," said Geoffrey Canada, president and chief executive officer for Harlem Children's Zone.

Canada was part of a panel convened on a special msnbc TV show to discuss "Waiting for Superman," a documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim.

Video: Are teachers under attack?

Guggenheim, who also directed "An Inconvenient Truth," discussed education progress with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in a one-hour live broadcast. The show was part of NBC News' "Education Nation."

"How do we let every kid win?" asked Guggenheim, whose film focuses on public school system erosion and spotlights Canada's success at Harlem Children's Zone.

"The answer is we need great public education for all our schools," Canada said. "We've seen innovation spread."

    1. Parents pitch in to save teacher's jobs

      Education Nation week continues with a look at how parents in one California community banded together to save teachers' jobs. NBC's Kristen Welker reports.

    2. Look up your school: Education Nation Scorecard
    3. Complete coverage of Education Nation

Panelist Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, disagreed with the film's depiction of unions as a barrier to progress and innovation.

"We all care passionately about children," she added.

However, Scarborough said the union stands in the way of firing bad teachers.

"No one wants lousy teachers," Weingarten said. Critics focus on failure rather than success, she added.

Teachers are fighting to help kids get what they need and to participate in developing standards on what constitutes a good teacher so evaluation processes can be clear, she said.

© 2013  Reprints

Video: A teacher's journey


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments