“Have you heard about those mothers who lift one ton trucks off of their babies? They’re nothing compared to me.”--Maggie G.
Two Academy Award Nominees, an Academy Award-winning actress and verbiage packed with vigor is only a glimpse of the power that stems from September's release of "Won’t Back Down."
Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays a mom of a dyslexic child lost in the bureaucracy of a Pittsburgh school system, sets out on a life changing movement to take back her school. Maggie’s character will not only improve her own struggling school, she will improve schools across the nation.
September 28th's release of "Won't Back Down" goes many levels beyond what “Waiting for Superman” introduced back in 2010. Based on actual events of a school district in California, "Won’t Back Down" exemplifies the power one voice has against the overzealous attacks that stem from shady superintendents, unskilled teachers and intimidating union officials.
Even as she is enticed with a free ride scholarship into a super high tech and high producing school for her daughter, Maggie declined the unscrupulous union leader’s offer and further pursued her mission.
Riddled with backroom politics put forth by both sides of the picket line, Maggie’s child is punished. Viola Davis, a struggling teacher and parent stuck in the same academically bankrupt school system, wasn’t an exception to the politics as she embarked on Maggie’s charge. Viola was also punished by being put on leave.
Maggie. Won't. Back. Down.
Working side by side as the dynamic duo, Viola and Maggie, pulled the trigger of the “Parent Trigger Law” paving the way for parents to take over the failing school which forced the school district to respond in a specific law mandated fashion.
After exonerating a huge hurdle of extraneous detail that was “required” on a petition, a reform of shutting the school down, becoming a charter school, or replacing the low performing personnel and essentially ridding the union power was granted to Maggie’s charge.
Anyone with a struggling child in school or anyone with a child in a struggling school (district) will benefit from seeing this movie. This movie goes beyond the Dance of the Lemons concept and shows parents how to take charge of their children’s education.
As the Chicago Teachers Union contract concerns settle, and rumors of Rahm Emanuel’s newly revived consideration into the parent trigger concept increases, one can only hope that the magnitude of this impending law will fuel districts to rid the poorly performing teachers and lethargic principals in Chicago, in Illinois, and in the United States.
Parents, you have the power to move mountains—this movie is your fuel and your guidebook. Red Tape isn’t permanent.