Educators in Montana say the recently released movie “Waiting for Superman” unfairly portrays teachers, blames unions and is not applicable here.

“This movie is not about Montana,” said Dennis Parman, deputy superintendent with the Office of Public Instruction.

Nearly 100 people attended a pre-screening of the recently released film Thursday afternoon at Cinemark followed by panel discussion.  The movie, directed by Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim, has sparked a national conversation about the state of public education. Some call it a “love letter to charter schools.” Others say “it’s an attack on teacher’s unions” because they make it impossible to get rid of poor-performing educators.

The movie focuses on the experiences of five young people from different cities in America and the challenges they face with public schools. All five of them apply to charter schools, but not all are accepted through the lottery process.

Educator Geoffrey Canada started the Harlem Children’s Zone in 1990 and was featured in the movie. He says, “The problem is schools haven’t changed, but the world around them has.”

It was clear that panel members were not impressed with the film and some were even offended.

Parman was a panel member and said he finds it difficult to characterize, as some do, the film as documentary and added that it took a cavalier approach to data. He did say however, it should serve as a warning to the Treasure State.

Eric Feaver, president of MEA-MFT, said no teacher falls asleep, as the movie suggests, on the day they are granted tenure.

Helena Superintendent Bruce Messinger said the local system is taking measures to decrease the achievement gap, which he believes is a problem here. He said the district is offering more personalized assistance and programming options.

Messinger said a working group is currently being formed to address the district’s dropout rate, which will likely put some focus on the preschool years before children enter the school system.

Helena teacher Jon Runnalls said the community needs to stop blaming the shortfall of student performance on teachers. If suddenly there were an increase in cavities, would the community blame dentists? he asked.

He said teachers need smaller class sizes and food for their hungry students, and that the No Child Left Behind Act merely promotes sameness and is forcing teachers to lose the ability to teach to individuals.

Rick Hays, former Qwest president, said the movie does a disservice to the role parents play.

“I believe parents drive the process,” he said during the discussion, adding that they influence teachers, administrators, trustees, legislators and classrooms.

The movie suggested that public schools put students on a tracking system for those who make it or those who don’t. Messinger said that’s not the case in Helena where there are honors classes for above-average students and applied classes for those who struggle.

Becca Harper, a Helena High School student and student representative on the school board, said there’s a potential for a tracking problem here. She said early on, her test scores were such that she was able to take advanced classes where she’s expected, and pushed, to perform well. Harper admits that in her “regular” classes she shows up thinking that she won’t have to do as much work.

Helena School Board member Don Jones described the film as thought-provoking, emotional, and a bit superficial.

“There are things we can do to make education better in Montana, but the programs they suggest aren’t cheap,” he said. “It’s not a matter of taking the monies we have and repackaging it and have better results.”

Jones said to reach every student requires an investment.

“Can we come up with a way to convince our state to pay? I’d be all for it,” he said. “Give me $30,000 a kid and we’ll graduate them and get the vast majority in college.”

Tammy Pilcher, president of Helena’s teachers union, said the movie got one thing right.

“We have great schools because we have great educators,” she said. “We have great educators because we have a contract that attracts them.”

Pilcher said once teachers come to Helena, they stay because the system is set up to nurture their professional growth.

“Thank God I live in Montana,” she said. “(The movie) is not us, and we know that.”

The event, attended by teachers, principals and school board and community members, was sponsored by the movie theater, Helena Education Foundation, Office of Public Instruction, MEA-MFT and Helena Public Schools.

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or alana.listoe@helenair.com

(41) comments

Purple
Purple

Of course they wouldn't be receptive. Afterall, were not King obama and congressional democrats also non receptive to the will of the people, and look how that turned out for them this past Tuesday night.

Ignore the will of the people to your heats content, for someone you will have to pay the piper for your arrogance.

clancykid
clancykid

The teacher unions care about one thing and one thing only, getting the most money for the teachers as they can. The school administration is NEVER satisfied with the amount of money they get year after year. If you question how effective they are, just look at your property tax bill and judge for yourself. Take a hard look at 2003 and compare to this year. You will be shocked at the substantial increase they have gotten. Make a few calculations, did your wages go up by the same percentage?

With the graduation rate at a deplorable level, my only question is when will the tax payers finally say "enough already". The education system in this country and even right here in the good old state of Montana is in decline, and throwing money at it is not going to fix it. I have seen many ideas come and go, from offering real competition for the tax dollar to simply closing down some schools that just aren't producing. Common sense would dictate that doing the exact same thing and expecting a different outcome is simply crazy, ask Einstein.

The administration was quick to point out that none of this movie applies to them. I have seen excerpts of the film and I find that very hard to believe. Of course they still will be out there hitting the property owners for an increase just like prior years. Some things just never change.

GivePeaceAChance
GivePeaceAChance

Pure and simple: This "screening" is a propaganda operation, aided and abetted by Lee Newspapers, designed to head off any criticism or discussion of public schools and their failings. All panel members were either employed by the school cartel or selected by them. No opposing viewpoint allowed. What a joke.

brucev
brucev

Dear Dr Messinger: Leave preschool aged children alone and start focusing your supportive and educational efforts toward parents! You are already trying to influence children too much through YOUR new 'health' education. Kids are not dropping out of school because of preschool aged experiences. Regarding this article about "Superman" ... let the movie speak for itself. If the movie portrays educators as self proclaiming experts in everything while dismissing the voices of parents its probably spot on. After the experience of the past curriculum change I dont trust educators. You are portals for education not experts in the lives of my children.

roi_ratt
roi_ratt

So, quick story summary here - a bunch of people from the MEA Teachers Union and the local Government school system didn't like a movie that highlights a better way to educate our children than the Government school system and Unions. Why am I not surprised?

Honestly
Honestly

Unfortunately, it is time for the education community to pull its heads collectively out of the sand and start looking at the modern world. we need school reform now, and there is a smart way to do it like obama has focused on. The fact that our local leaders are resisting advancement is worrisome.

meadowlark
meadowlark

I am laughing as I write this. Lulz rather. Teachers getting offended by the truth. Yeah, that brings back some memories all right.

I attended Helena schools from first grade through high school graduation. I received a pretty good education overall in those days, as far as academics, though that was back in the 60s and 70s, so I don't know what might have changed. I do know the really good teachers I had, could be counted on one hand. The rest were going through the motions and should have retired or found another line of work, or they were paragons of squashing you into their ideas of conformity. In those days, if you were "slow" you were a Special Ed kid and served as "slave labor" to clean pots and pans, or help the janitors clean. If you were smart, you were beat down into staying at the pace of the rest of the class, and bullied by the rest too (the teachers turned their back on bullying in those days, let the kids sort it out. This resulted in suicides and the rest of course). The good teachers, I bless them. The rest, well, enough said.

The things I take issue with are two in particular in this case.

One, charter schools are a brilliant idea for kids who either have trouble fitting in, and will be lost otherwise, many of them kids who have particular promise in areas like the creative/performing arts, or math and science. You know, the "weirdos" "fags" and "nerds" who are the first choice for being bullied. So charter schools can actually keep some kids alive to the age of adulthood, and keep others from psychiatrist's offices for the rest of their lives, or even prison.

Two, do people even know the original meaning and intent of tenure?? Originally tenure was meant for college/university teachers, to protect them so that they could work on controversial research, or hold controversial views, once they proved their academic worth through publishing in peer-reviewed journals, etc. It is an instrument to protect academic freedom, not ensure lifetime employment.

Unfortunately in the university systems, it has also often degenerated to protect inept or unworthy lifers. I guess this has migrated to K-12 now? When I was in school, it was wrong to spell "night" as "nite." When I was in school, someone was not "gifted" a present, they were given a present. And now "tenure" no longer means, a guarantee of academic freedom from being fired for teaching unpopular views, it now means lifetime employment once you put your time in, whether you truly should be, have the CALLING, to be a teacher or not. The Helena School District taught me well enough to know BS when I see and hear it.

RightMT
RightMT

I agree with Dennis in part. The problem in Montana, and specifically in Helena is the School Board.

caribouboy
caribouboy

I'm sure the local union thugs at MEA-MFT hated this movie. The last year has shown that all our town's teachers and education "leaders" are interested in is social experimentation.

Looking forward to the new Math and English curricula that are being worked on. Oops, no interest in actually doing their jobs, just in lobbying for more money and attempting to take over for the parents.

Alucard9
Alucard9

So, we aren't suppose to blame teachers??? I am 25, and have 2 kids in Kindergarden. When i went through the school system, my grades didn't fail until middle of 8th grade, and continued through high school. I personally feel like a lot of my failures had to do with the fact that Teachers where NOT involving, like listening to a monotonous record, and my parents ran my butt into the ground about school and homework, they where the ONE factor that kept me from truly dropping out of high school! Yes, i DO NOT believe in Tenure, would you want a Doctor who has had 10 deaths on the table (equal to students dropping out), and yet he still has a job because he's tenure??? These are our kid's future, there life, and it should be compared like this, not "Helena teacher Jon Runnalls said the community needs to stop blaming the shortfall of student performance on teachers. If suddenly there were an increase in cavities, would the community blame dentists? he asked."

The Big L
The Big L

looks like the message was missed. too bad.

Rabbit
Rabbit

Really, there is nothing Montana can take away from this? The State motto should change to "Not Applicable Here." Quit trying to convince Montanans that the rest of the world doesn't apply to us. This constant thinking that we are unique, special is called denial. Face the challenges and the outsiders someone wants you to fear and believe are out to change your land and culture. Most of you are not benefitting from this thinking but someone is.


This documentary is one of the best I've seen- EVER. On the one hand; I am surprised to see so many people rejecting this film (and please don't comment unless you HAVE seen it), I had a visceral reaction to this movie and it may not (in your opinion)accurately portray the lives of Montanans and their children but it is (in my opinion) a shining and extremely accurate depiction of the sad state of the American education system.
Is the fact that it was not set here in Montana the real issue here? If it is then maybe I'm the one who isn't seeing things clearly.
On the other hand; I do expect narrow minded, arrogant people to shut out the movies premise and suggest that it is not an actual portrayal of teachers because.......
The bottom line is ( and all you health curriculum supporters will probably agree, otherwise why all the drama...) that American children are lacking..in MANY areas, the educational state of these (our) kids being at the forefront. This film just slaps you in the face with it.
The truth is sometimes hard to handle and when you don't like what you're hearing it's really easy and quite common to say it's just a bunch of pithy mumbo jumbo.
Typical.
Go back inside and lock your doors Montana- you wouldn't want those ignorant heathens from the rest of the country getting in.

bkworm
bkworm

Most Montanans have no idea how poor many inner schools are. Go see this movie so you will understand why reformers have arisen. Many millions of children have been lost to mediocre education and are not prepared for the 21st century. We don't have that culture here, but neither can we rest on our laurels. Not everyone appreciates how hard our educators work. We must strengthen what we have so that our children are not lost, too.

Common Sense
Common Sense

"Helena teacher Jon Runnalls said the community needs to stop blaming the shortfall of student performance on teachers. If suddenly there were an increase in cavities, would the community blame dentists? he asked."
I guess we are just making dumber children now huh? Give me a break. This kind of attitude is exactly what is the problem. The local school board is more interested in social engineering than results. Messinger wants to address the issue of high school drop outs at the preschool level? What? Please tell me I'm dreaming. What is needed are interventions when a student feels he or she has no recourse but to drop out. We all know the unions want what is best for their members, not our young students. Time for a change. This group is so out of touch with reality that I wonder why we even try to fix the old system. Tenure should never be granted. Results are the touchstone that these folks need to key into. Results, results, results. Fire those who fail.
Helena educators.....your job is to educate our children so they have a chance at success in life, not to go through the motions and get a fat retirement and pension.

althelea
althelea

Helena School Board member Don Jones said. “Give me $30,000 a kid and we’ll graduate them and get the vast majority in college.” Just wondering: How much does the school district get for each child?

Editor's note: The Helena School District receives roughly $4,803 per student in kindergarten through sixth grade, and roughly $6,005 per student in upper grades. - John Doran, IR editor

susnbutler
susnbutler

Who wrote the misleading headline? The people I was sitting near found the film provacative and good. I hope it finds a wide audience.

ssteacher
ssteacher

Of course Bruce Messinger would not like anything that suggests parents can get a better or even an "as good" education outside of his school district because of the whirlwind uprising of parents who want to get their children out from under the influence of his very unpopular "sex-ed" agenda he will be shoving down the throats of parents who strongly protested every way they could legally. Charter schools , which actually listen to parent's concerns sound good to many of us who were totally ignored by our arrogant school board

Vince
Vince


Dubya once stated: "Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" --Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000.

"[T]hey're in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom." --Sarah Palin, getting the vice president's constitutional role wrong, Oct. 21, 2008

Obviously not for the past 30-40 years in Texas and Yale. Or Alaska.

By the way, where are the parents in all of this? They should be involved in helping the kids with their schoolwork? We helped ours, didn't expect the teachers to do everything. Our children are able to read and write, do math, are politically savvy, college graduates, don't always agree with their parents, and teach us new ideas.

althelea
althelea

Editor's note: The Helena School District receives roughly $4,803 per student in kindergarten through sixth grade, and roughly $6,005 per student in upper grades. - John Doran, IR editor

Thank you, John.

So, the school district gets almost $70,000 over a 13 year period to educate a child. Did Don Jones mean that with $30,000 a year per child they could do better? Or does he just not know the math?

justme59601
justme59601

vince,

don't get me started on dumb things politicians can say sometimes. neither barack nor biden are rocket scientists by any stretch of the imagination but I won't bother quoting them here.

obvious you're a liberal. but you say your kids grew up and are politically savvy. does that mean they grew up to be republicans?? LOL

Reasonable
Reasonable

Others say “it’s an attack on teacher’s unions” because they make it impossible to get rid of poor-performing educators."

Well, guess what...

Here's what I think. Good teachers should actually be paid more than they are and, it should be A LOT easier to get rid of the bad ones.

myopinion72
myopinion72

I can certainly appreciate that so many of you are critical of our school systems, but I have to ask what are each of you doing or willing to do to fix it? Are you willing to pay more taxes? Are you willing to volunteer in classrooms? Are you willing to tutor or mentor? What are you willing to do? Based on the editor's comments, the schools are getting very little to educate our children and the teachers can not fix it with out the support of the community, the administration, the parents, etc, etc. I agree that teachers can and must be held to a higher standard, but so should every single one of us when it comes to our children's education. This is our future generation - our future doctors, scientists, community leaders, parents, and teachers. We ALL have a stake in this!

dfordjones
dfordjones

[quote]althelea said: "Editor's note: The Helena School District receives roughly $4,803 per student in kindergarten through sixth grade, and roughly $6,005 per student in upper grades. - John Doran, IR editor Thank you, John.So, the school district gets almost $70,000 over a 13 year period to educate a child. Did Don Jones mean that with $30,000 a year per child they could do better? Or does he just not know the math?"[/quote]

Aletha - Don Jones here. The movie touts the successes of certain charter school programs that all have a much higher per pupil cost then what we spend on per child here in Montana. What I meant by my comment to the IR is - If you gave our School District the same amount of money to spend on each pupil as is spent on the kids who are in the charter schools described in the movie (as much as $30,000 year), then I could also guarantee a 100% graduation rate and a 90%+ college entry rate just like the charter schools do in the movie.

It was a good movie I recommend anyone interested in education to see - it is very thought-provoking, emotional and entertaining. They're certainly messages and ideas in it we need to consider and discuss. But, much like Guggenhiem's prior movie's - he takes great liberty with facts and data, he over-generalizes and uses too many false assumptions to make his case. Do not take what he says as gospel.

The problems with the schools in Washington D.C., Chicago, Houston, New York, and L.A. are really are not very applicable to our schools in Helena. We spend much less money per child here then in any of those places and yet our kids out-perform the kids from the big cities by a huge margin. We get a good bang for our buck in Helena, but just imagine what we could do if we invested as much in our kids here as they do for those kids that get into the schools described in the movie (I sure do!).

Hera
Hera

The new Kids Count report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says 9 percent of Montana teens ages 16 to 19 had dropped out of high school, putting Montana in a tie for 44th worst among the states. Montana's dropout rate in 2000 was 7 percent.

If Montana is doing so well in public education, why don't the the facts agree? Obviously this place needs serious help in education and economic growth. Is being in denial about the problem going to make it dissapear? I think this article is a sad but scary testament to the educational level of the state's demographic.

rlsmom
rlsmom

I attended the screening yesterday, and while I don't believe charter schools are necessarily the answer, the film does highlight real issues that take place everywhere, including Helena. Coincidentally, I attended my 7th grader's parent teacher conference following the screening. I learned that two days per week, the advisor period is being changed to "choices" for students to take non-academic electives. When I asked if there was another opportunity for my child to have a study hall, I was told I could pull him out of consumer science and health or put him on the waiting list for the after school study skills program. This program, by the way, has a waiting list of at least 20 kids.

My child has in an IEP for a disability that does not impact his intellect but does require some accomodations. He has a new case manager this year that has never met with him. His teachers are incorporating one of the accomodations listed in his IEP, but it was clear they aren't doing the other items and hadn't looked at the IEP in a year.

I'm an involved parent, I have high expectations for my kids, and up until this year, I have been very happy with our public schools. However, when nonacademic fun classes take priority over an advisory period, it causes me to scratch my head. If there are 20 kids waiting for an afterschool study skills program, why can't it be expanded? Obviously there are students and parents that want their children to learn the material and learn it well, and I believe the majority of Helena's teachers want the same. Let's get our priorities aligned so our kids succeed academically and then we won't be waiting for Superman.

CarrollQueer
CarrollQueer

Teachers engaged in Helena.
More money for schools.
Sorry Don Jones. When was the last time you or Eric Feaver actually stepped foot in a Helena school to observe?
My son just spent a whole class period watching the movie CARS, because the "teacher" was absent, as he is on most Thursdays or Fridays.
Yes, there are some good teachers in Helena but it isn't due to the MEA-MFT or the Helena School Board. Our great teachers are those who do it because they have a passion to teach, not for the money.

althelea
althelea

rlsmom, I have also had the experience of the IEP for two children. Not helpful, not followed, a waste of my time.

Don: Anyone can get a great college education right here in Helena for less than $6,000 a year. Why should we spend more than that for a mediocre elementary and high school education? College class rooms are not stuffed to the brim with students, teachers and tutors are available for assistance, office staff is helpful. Put that to work for our children and see what you get.

dfordjones
dfordjones

[quote]CarrollQueer said: "Teachers engaged in Helena.More money for schools.Sorry Don Jones. When was the last time you or Eric Feaver actually stepped foot in a Helena school to observe?My son just spent a whole class period watching the movie CARS, because the "teacher" was absent, as he is on most Thursdays or Fridays.Yes, there are some good teachers in Helena but it isn't due to the MEA-MFT or the Helena School Board. Our great teachers are those who do it because they have a passion to teach, not for the money."[/quote]

With three kids in the district and a wife who teaches and as someone who volunteers in the classroom on a fairly regular basis I see a lot of what goes on inside of our schools and it is quite amazing. There are certainly a few weak links in the system but the vast majority of our teachers in Helena are very committed to our children and give us all they have to give. I agree that it is vital that a teacher must have a passion for teaching. But do you not agree that how much we pay someone to teach might attract a higher quality teacher? Wouldn't more high quality passionate teachers be attracted to the school district that pays them the most money? I think education, in a lot of ways, is like anything else you care about in life - you get what you pay for. Thank god for all the passionate teachers and passionate people in our community that make up for how much we invest in our schools.

bhallinan
bhallinan

@Hera (November 5, 2010, 3:43 pm). Dropout counts are difficult to get. Indexing all school-aged children across America would help.

@althelea (November 5, 2010, 9:00 pm). Re: "Anyone can get a great college education right here in Helena for less than $6,000 a year." I am assuming you are talking about UM Helena. You did not factor in the state subsidy that underlie that education.

If you are willing to be educated, yet not have a degree, consider the Open Course Ware initiative. For example, one can get a "free" (you still have to work for it!) MIT education in any subject taught at MIT. Over 2,000 classes. http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm.

dfordjones
dfordjones

[quote]althelea said: "rlsmom, I have also had the experience of the IEP for two children. Not helpful, not followed, a waste of my time.Don: Anyone can get a great college education right here in Helena for less than $6,000 a year. Why should we spend more than that for a mediocre elementary and high school education? College class rooms are not stuffed to the brim with students, teachers and tutors are available for assistance, office staff is helpful. Put that to work for our children and see what you get."[/quote]
When you say "less than $6,000 a year" I can only assume you mean how much you might have to pay to go to UM-Helena. The fact is that it costs much more than what you pay in tuition to pay for college, the professor, the materials, the building, the janitors, administration, etc. then what is paid in tuition. The rest is paid by the taxpayers and even for a community college the total cost is much more than $6,000 per student. Bottom line is we get much more than what we pay for from our schools in Helena. How much are you willing to invest in our kids? How about just giving some of your time? We need more tutors and I bet you could contribute some valuable time
to our kids.

Hera
Hera

Since I've been here, I've seen a planned parenthood shut down, an updated sex education plan cut to shreds after protests of puritanical origins erupted, open and blatant prejudice in the streets, and now on the FRONT PAGE of the paper, a story on how people of Helena hated this documentary, bringing valid questions to the break down of the American school system??

Should people need to a passport to come to 3rd world Montana?

CarrollQueer
CarrollQueer

Don Jones,
The teachers that are truly performing are worth every penny and more.
I don't need to remind you that teachers in the Helena School District are the highest
paid in the state.
The issue, as pointed out in "Superman" are the under-performers!
These "teachers" are protected by the MEA-MFT and tenure.
This is where the reform needs to begin. All teachers need to be on a 2 or 3 year contract that is renewed only upon satisfactory performance. Performance that includes student/peer/administration and professional input and review. No tenure.
It is very disheartening to hear you, as a school board member, crying "poor" and that the "answer" is more money. But not surprising as it's the same line from the union.

Vince
Vince

Justme59601

Nah, I'm neither liberal nor conservative. I am a little of both. My point was that the teachers in the schools cannot teach everything. Parents need to be involved in the education of their children, and even the very rich (dubya) or ignorant (palin) and who are in the spotlight, need to be able to communicate with at least some show of intelligence to our children. Yep, my kids vote for the person, not the party. I vote split, or if I don't like the unopposed candidate, as in this election, I don't darken the oval. I'm not running for office, so you see if I commit a faux pas, you and my children are the only ones who can laugh at me, and it doesn't affect the entire country, or the world's perception of me.

bigbroom
bigbroom

Mr Jones, being on the school board and having a wife that teaches in the district ...
Is this a conflict of interest? Oh yeah, you are an attorney. There must be a loophole or justification. Ethics? Not s strong point with the majority of this school board. Thank goodness for Mr Beaver, Mr Wilkerson and Robin LeNeve.

althelea
althelea

dfordjones said: When you say "less than $6,000 a year" I can only assume you mean how much you might have to pay to go to UM-Helena. The fact is that it costs much more than what you pay in tuition to pay for college, the professor, the materials, the building, the janitors, administration, etc. then what is paid in tuition. The rest is paid by the taxpayers and even for a community college the total cost is much more than $6,000 per student. Bottom line is we get much more than what we pay for from our schools in Helena. How much are you willing to invest in our kids? How about just giving some of your time? We need more tutors and I bet you could contribute some valuable time to our kids.

Just wondering, I have no idea even where to begin to look for these accounting figures: How much do the taxpayers pay per student for college?

Thanks for the push, I will be calling today to find out about tutoring and volunteering my time in local schools. I believe that it is important and haven't given back since my children graduated. Shame on me.

helenros
helenros

Maybe if we didn't have to waste so much time and money on standardized tests mandated by No Child Left Behind, we could afford to have more humanities classes, more one-on-one time with students, and parents wouldn't have to supply kleenex, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies as part of the school supply lists.

bigbroom
bigbroom

helenros how right you are!
We need to quit taking Federal monies for our schools, and along with it the mandates, social engineering and personnel needed to administrate it.
It will never happen with the current school board.
Time for a change - local school board, local money, local curriculum.

helenros
helenros

NCLB makes no real sense anyway. If a school is struggling, it gets sanctioned, and has even less money than before. So how can they fix their problems if they can't even afford to hire specially trained personnel to work with the learning disabled kids? The District has just ONE occupational therapist to cover the entire district! If your child needs OT services, he's fortunate to see the OT once a month. I can see our schools failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks, which results in additional lost funds, and we eventually go into a death spiral. But refusing federal funds is not the answer. Helena taxpayers can't and won't vote to replace the revenue.

AntiXenophobia
AntiXenophobia

This movie does one thing right, it starts a dialogue about how to improve our schools. The entire premise of the movie is wrong, though. The movie claims that we have like the 25th best school system in the world. That is misleading. If you grow up in a poor school district, you will have an education that is very poor. If you grow up in a middle-class school district (Helena qualifies), then you get an education that still ranks first in the world. Compared to 40 years ago, the numbers of poor kids and poor schools has grown and brought down the average test scores, but the performance of schools like most of our kids go to are still the best in the world. When you start breaking down this data along financial lines, it is pretty troubling. Our reservation schools are world-class bad, while our white schools are as good as you will find anywhere. When you average everything out, our schools are 25th best in the world, but you are either getting a really good education or a really, really bad one, depending on how much money your community makes.

4HelenaKids
4HelenaKids

"Honestly" called it 'sand'.
A more descriptive term came to mind.

Either way some heads are 'stuck', got a little to big for their britches, and they got to that point all by themselves. Always takes someone else to pull them out.

To be sure, thsi kind of 'Narcissism' is a mental disorder.

It is disturbing that our children could be subjected to such a 'controlling' group, so small in number, and that with so many of us in the community objecting to them as 'a defective unit', that we don't just petition those few, right out of office.

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