Superman’s not coming

Americans are taking the education crisis seriously, writes New York Times columnist Tom Friedman in a huge plug for Waiting for Superman, which opens Sept. 24.

“Waiting for Superman” follows five kids and their parents who aspire to obtain a decent public education but have to enter a bingo-like lottery to get into a good charter school, because their home schools are miserable failures.

The title comes from Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, who recounts his grief when his mother told him Superman wasn’t real. “And I was crying because there was no one … coming with enough power to save us.”

About Joanne


  1. He’s right. Superman is not coming.

  2. “Superman” is not coming because Americans are not taking the education crisis seriously. Even if Superman and all of his Fantastic Friends came, the public would ignore them.

  3. What difference would the depth and degree of public concern make? Historical accidents generated the State-monopoly school system (in the religioius colonies of British North America, Protestants established government-operated schools and had political control when waves of Catholic immigrants demanded support for their schools) and dedicated lobbying by current recipients of the taxpayers’ $500 billion+ per year K-12 school subsidy sustains the current State-monopoly school system.

    Mancur Olsen, James Buchannan, and Gordon Tullock explained how influential insiders often dominate majorities and inflict costs on society at large. There is quite probably no collective path out of this mess, short of a general collapse. Parents can and should homeschool. For most children, it’s the only way out.