American Teacher is another silver bullet for education that misses the target, writes Dana Goldstein on Slate. The movie profiles four excellent, hard-working teachers and advocates paying teachers $125,000 a year to attract talented college graduates to the profession. But it never explains how those big salaries will be paid (larger classes?) or how teachers’ merit will be judged. Teachers’ unions aren’t mentioned. Neither is testing. There are no trade-offs to be made.
The movie is narrated by Matt Damon, an education reform critic, and co-produced by writer Dave Eggers and Nínive Clements Calegari, a former teacher who works with Eggers on 826 National, a network of urban, nonprofit writing tutoring centers.