'Won't Back Down' Will Rock School Districts Everywhere

Changes in teachers union and school districts everywhere will be made when "Won't Back Down" debuts on Sept. 28.

“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. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

LMS September 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I forgot to add: Posting a comment calling truth-out.org liberal propaganda blah blah blah would be empty and pointless. It's so irritating when people from either side of the fence do that. Either share facts opposing the information in the linked-to article, or accept that the information is correct and go from there.
Sheila Raddatz September 22, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I agree. The film is biased. They are instructing the public on how to rid the bad apples and avoid the union. Your article is just as guilty as it demonstrates a union bias. I welcome your comment as it reflected the "other side of the coin". I believe in unions. I fully support good employees. Unions are there for bargaining and rights but not to protect those who are poor performers. In my opinion, that is where the issue lies, taxpayers nationwide are still funding the bad apples until they go through the expensive and lengthy process of arbitration. If the bad apples actually have a little fear of jeopardizing their livelihood, will they still be bad apples? Or will they actually do the job that they are paid to do? That is the question.
LMS September 22, 2012 at 09:55 PM
You're acquainted with scores of bad apples that the big bad union is keeping in place? These bad apples have had their incompetence documented by administration, but the evil union has somehow sidestepped procedure and dragged out arbitration, costing "the taxpayers"(which include teachers and union members) millions? Are these bad apples you've known spread across all fifty states with their varied rules and regulations, or are they just in Illinois (which is actively reforming the evaluation process and tenure)? Of these scores of bad apples you personally know, are you asserting that the parent trigger law would have solved the problem (even though it never has in the past) where all of the other current education reforms on the table are failing/have failed? What you say is so nonsensical I honestly can't tell if you're serious.
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