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I understand their wanting to distance themselves from this movie, but it has been  unleashed now.  Too late for regrets and concerns from those involved.   I will remember the three stars harshly, though...Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Holly Hunter.  I believe this kind of movie will cause even more harm to public education and public school teachers.

Crew Member of “Won’t Back Down” Speaks

Hi, um, I had the… good fortune of working on this film that, at its heart, is fiction. Notice the careful phrase “based on real events” rather than “a true story.” It is a STORY that is being hijacked by political people to support a cause that many of us, now that we are watching this disgusting spectacle unfold, are conflicted about the film. We are in the business of telling stories, human stories about relationships that have an emotional effect on audiences. We are certainly not told, from the beginning, that our work will be used to support a position we oppose… in the end, honestly, we are just grateful to have a job in a HIGHLY competitive market.

I will ask you to please understand that the actors, crew, and other hard working people that worked to tell this story were not engaging is supporting an agenda. We are just paying bills like everyone else. Once involved, we are also committed to the film’s success (read ticket sales and marketability).

What is needed is more voices rising up and disrupting these carefully staged events – voices which support the position that public education is a cornerstone… a vital foundation upon which democracy is built. To surrender it to corporate greed and financial motivations is to decimate the future of this country, the equality of its citizens, mobility between classes, and our very freedom.

Make noise, be heard, make sure that this debate does not go the way of health care reform that gave us no single payer system but, instead, a gift to insurance companies.

Yeah, well, I and others have been raising our voices a lot to be heard, but so far very little progress.  We are just bloggers and teachers, retired and otherwise, and the opposition is very wealthy and powerful.

The Parent Trigger push is NOT a grassroots movement.  These are charter school companies manipulating parents into forming a revolution.  It's happened before, you know, as in the Town Hall "rallies" during the health care reform activity.  You can thank Rick Scott for that.   It's a dangerous movement.

So dear Crew Member of Won't Back Down...thanks for the regretting, but the movie is still being released.  Many fear it will cause parents to rise up unfairly against schools in a way that will accomplish nothing but chaos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm sure Obama is on the side of teachers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashoil, kyril

    and did not condone this trash movie at the convention, right?

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:48:12 PM PDT

  •  It's a's not a documentary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, VClib

    I really doubt it's going to cause anything.  In fact in about a month no one will remember it.

    If Fahrenheit 9/11 and Al Gores Earth in the Balance didn't change a thing, I highly doubt this movie will.

    I'm not dismissing your disagreements with what the movie depicts.  However, I simply think you are giving it too much weight.

    Should we be upset with everyone that worked on this film?  The entire cast and crew?  I think they have a point about "this is our job".  At least they spoke out about how people are trying to use their work.

    I do agree it was a crappy movie to show at the convention.  But, I haven't seen a lot of strong support for unions in a while, so I wasn't too shocked.  Just disappointed.  

    •  I am upset. Of course it will matter. (9+ / 0-)

      I taught so long, can not imagine how it must feel now to be so disrespected.

      Of course it will matter.  Too many parents are angry over economy, everything....blaming teachers will be a way to vent.   Too many believe what they see in a movie, esp. one that is shown at BOTH DNC and RNC conventions.

      It will matter.

      •  Ok--please don't think I'm dismissing your (0+ / 0-)

        anger/frustration about how the teachers in this country are being portrayed.  I'm not.

        I am only saying I highly doubt people are going to change their position due to a movie.

        It will either validate what people already believe or piss off those who don't.  I just don't think it will have the impact you are thinking it will.

        Like I said, I highly doubt people will even be talking about it in a month.  I hadn't even heard of the movie until the DNC decided to show it.  I talk politics daily w/ people and this hasn't come up.

        But, I do agree, we should focus on why the DNC thought this was appropriate to be shown at our convention.

        •  Key words: "until DNC" decided to show it. (0+ / 0-)

          And that is the worst part of all.   It IS the policy of many leaders of the party to support charter schools, and also the Parent Trigger laws that are coming.  Eli Broad said his 50K donation to Parents Revolution was to get more charter schools faster.  The Democratic Mayors group spoke at the showing as well.  

          That is not parental control of schools after all.  

          •  I do agree with your position on how public (0+ / 0-)

            school teachers and schools are being portryed.

            Once again, the battle of public preception is being won on the Right.

            Public unions, tax payer vouchers, global warming, tax rates, military intervention, personal privacy rights, abortion...i could type forever.  

            It is frustrating.  I am so tired of supporting the lesser of 2 evils all the time.  Being a Democrat is so damn tough.  And I hate having to rationalize my support.  I hate that i say one thing very often, but vote for people who do think just the opposite.

            Hang in there, and I'm sorry if i sounded like I was dismissing your anger.  Believe me; I do understand.

    •  Ah Yes, They were only doing their job ......... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fordmandalay, WisePiper, blueoasis

      Where have I heard that before?

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 10:21:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you're right but, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      juca, Naniboujou, my2petpeeves

      There is big money behind the desire to "piratize" what is left of the public sector unlike unlike the comparatively  small money behind the environmental movement.

      "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

      by irate on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 03:33:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Crap. I've spent 30 years in the movie biz, (18+ / 0-)

    As a member of the on-set crew, and have always taken care as to what jobs I'd accept, and have turned down a lot of potential gigs because I found the subject matter objectionable. Yes it's a highly competitive field, but as with everything in life you have to make the personal decision as to whether you're going to be a part of the problem. 'Hey I didn't know what I was involved with' is a pathetic excuse. Walking around with blinders on only guarantees you'll walk off a cliff.

    I've never been able to separate my consciensce from my work, and I'm glad about it. I don't have to write apologetic letters afterwards.

    (romney)/RYAN 2012 - Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a escape from reality....

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 10:11:06 PM PDT

    •  Well said. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfgb, blueoasis


    •  Yeah, well, depends on the position, doesn't it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And after reading the linked post, it's not really apparent what part this person played in making the film.

      Not that it matters - because unless they're in a position that may have a significant impact one way or the other on the production's bottom line, I seriously doubt anyone writing the checks gives a flying frak how they feel or what they think.

      That's not to diminish the aspect of one's moral compass being a guide in their professional life - but I doubt a PA in Pittsburgh is going to let that little detail stand in the way of their next rent payment.

      "Reality Bites", as it were.

      "It's the Arithmetic, Stupid!"

      by here4tehbeer on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 11:20:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Haven't seen it yet.. kind of anxious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, blueoasis

    The description on IMDB is a bit sparse,

    Two determined mothers­, one a teacher, look to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
    Which shouldn't surprise anybody that has had to deal with the machinations unwanted and unneeded bureaucracy in the the public school system.

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 10:29:35 PM PDT

  •  Another area where bipartisan consensus means... (5+ / 0-)

    screwing working people. Sad when other working people get on board with that consensus, let alone when they help propagate the lies that undergird that consensus.

  •  I actually talked about this with my mother (0+ / 0-)

    She's pretty liberal but says that she thinks there needs to be reform of Tenure, she does however believe Unions have the right to collectively bargain defend people. But I just want to ask what the temperature is here for Tenure Reform?

    •  The myth of tenure is what drives (9+ / 0-)

      teachers crazy.

      I am retired. I worked 40+ years as a teacher in public education.  While I mostly taught the middle school age, I have taught everything age wise from Kindergarten through post graduate college level.   It is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of a teacher with tenure.    Tenure does, however, make it extremely difficult  for an assh*t administrator, a school board member with political aspirations, to take away  teachers' right to due process.

      I saw teachers dismissed, teachers WITH TENURE.   I helped the process get started and my union aided the process by making sure it was fair and at the same time, making sure the teacher was given fair notice of the grievances, and a chance to remedy any bad teaching.  As well, my union encouraged one teacher, who was older, to retire early so she would not lose her retirement totally.

      What disturbs me is that so many people not in education want to blame the teachers/the union when the fault lies with administrations.  Teachers are neither empowered to hire or to fire.  Good administrators get lots of input from the good teachers in their building when hiring. That eliminates a lot of the problems.  However there are not good administrators in every building.  

      Firing a "bad" teacher is hard for good reasons:  
      *Teachers can be involved politically outside of school  When I was in my last job, I belonged to the Peace and Justice commission but worked in a super right wing conservative city.  Trust me...liberal activism was frowned upon by many on the school board.
      *Sometimes a principal can be an ineffective jerk and teachers making complaints, can put their jobs in jeopardy.  
      *And for years, women were quite vulnerable to an almost all male administration.

       Unions were formed and grew strong back in the 1950s and 1960s to combat many of these things, as well as to improve salaries and working conditions.
      However the money and power behind the "charter/privatization" corporations have, sadly, been quite successful at getting too many to blame the teachers and their unions, when the real power in schools remains in administration and school boards.  And those are more often than not, the "good old boys' networks."  

      My greatest disappointment in the democratic side is their refusal to use teachers as their resource and instead give power to people like Arne Duncan; give a voice to people like Michelle Rhee.  Duncan was not a teacher.  Rhee was a failed teacher. Scapegoating teachers, pitting teachers against each other, schools against each other to fight for funding is so obviously wrong headed.
      THE BEST TEACHERS KNOW THIS.  The best teachers, when they find something that works, get excited and want to share it with fellow teachers.  Instead the corporate plan is to entice teachers to  "find the magic solution" (which by the way does not exist) and then hoard it and hold out for money for themselves and/or their schools.

      Teachers do not enter the profession, and certainly do not stay in the profession, to get rich.   Yes, there are , as in any professions, a few really bad teachers.  As well, there are a few gifted one.  Like most humans, the numbers on either end are small and the vast majority in the middle.  But the truth that the money people do not want to hear is that experience indeed does make for a better teacher.  Experience has and imo should have financial benefits (other than improving pay from experience and more education, teachers to improve  financially would have to leave the classroom and go into administration, or play the meritocracy game, neither of which, imo, is good for kids).  Mentoring from older teachers helps young teachers.   Things like pacing, changing directions on a dime when the lesson is not going well, the ability to sense the lesson is failing, the ability to perform as both the sage on the stage and guide on the side within one time period,  get better with experience.  

      Teaching is more of an art than a science.  One cannot follow a formula to be a great teacher because no two students and no two teachers are alike.   I am saddened whenever I come here and see progressives jump on the "blame the teachers" bandwagon.

      •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

        For explaining this.

        •  You are welcome... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and let me add one thing.

          When there is a bad teacher (and a few exist), the process to fire them is not easy (for reasons I explained above) but it can be done with DOCUMENTATION.   And this is the hard part.   An administrator has to document, observe, document, observe, give recommendations for the teacher to follow to improve;  many unions also then provide a skilled teacher as a mentor.   The idea is to make sure before a teacher is fired, they are given the chance to improve, to learn.  And then, if that teacher still fails, they can be fired.

          The purpose here is to make sure no one is fired simply because the principal/administration is not firing them because they are union leaders, political activists, or a personality conflict.  However, often a lazy administrator prefers to just play the transfer game to protect themselves.

    •  Tenure is hard to get, and they CAN be fired. (0+ / 0-)

      The "reformers" have used it as a wedge, and they have lied through their teeth about it.   In FL we used to have continuing contract, but under Rick Scott that is gone now.

      It took 3 years of much observation and evaluation to ever get it in the first place.  

      Teachers must have the freedom to tell parents the problems and successes of their children.  Teachers must sit in on meetings about students with serious problems and recommend solutions.

      Trust me, most parents do not want to hear negative things about their children.  I know I never did.  So there must be some kind of job security in this sensitive area or the students will suffer.

  •  What about Waiting For Superman, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, floridagal

    wasn't that also a primer for privatizing the education department?

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 02:25:53 AM PDT

  •  Say what now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, floridagal

    Yeah....nice little mea culpa moment there spark but y know what? Here is my response:

    So the actors didnt know what the film was about? You mean they didnt read the script and go "hang on a minute...."? FECK ORF

    So the actors were sooooo desperate to earn some money they had no choice but to take the part? FECK ORF

    And the same goes for the crew? Well OK sparky, I know that you guys behind the cameras earn buttons compared to the Armani Suits the stars get. But sometimes having morals and integrity means you have to suffer and make sacrifices.

    And that we only did it for the money cos we were soooooo poor argument sounds uncomfortably close to the "We were only following orders" arguments trotted out at Nuremberg and still heard in UN war crimes courts in Rwanda, the Hague and Cambodia.

    Cry me a river you can tell me the crews and cast of the Left Behind films didnt know they were working for a bunch of Christian Evangelical Necromongers.

  •  Pretty weak excuse from that crew member (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, floridagal, drawingporno

    And I am with you in looking at the movie's stars in a whole different light now, and a very negative one.

  •  dtr is a teacher in s fla. says her classes are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    way over-sized this year b/c parents are taking their kids out of charter/private schools so they can get a better education in the public ones -- !!  she teaches in a very wealthy neighborhood, too.

    •  In many cases the money that went with the student (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluezen, drawingporno

      to the charter school doesn't find its way back to the public school.  Or so I hear.

      •  i'm not surprised. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the game, as elizabeth warren said, is rigged.  

        for-profit charter schools wouldn't exist in the first place if they weren't guaranteed a portion (at least) of their income from the public kitty.

        they also get to cherry-pick the students they accept & refuse, something public schools don't have the luxury of.  

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