Is it just because it’s back-to-school time? The first week of the Fall season? Media coverage of education is seeing something of a spike this week given tonight’s limited opening of Waiting for Superman and the interviews with its creator, Davis Guggenheim (who also created the documentary An Inconvenient Truth).

Next week’s Education Nation Summit in NYC at the Rockefeller Plaza is also gaining text space and presenting controversy around the list of invitees.  It would be nice if any of this increased the level of conversation following the events. And for those of you who have spent planning time during the opening weeks of this school year analyzing your student data, adjusting your instruction, and paying attention to trends being revealed, how could you display and report the findings of your data team in ways that inform the public conversation in your community.

Superman is flashy but what data teams are learning and how they are responding in ways that are making a difference for all students, is truly heroic – and doesn’t depend on a savior – cartoon or otherwise.  The work of data teams are changing the culture of schools and the decision-making processes (layers and layers) that control all of the tangled and snarled elements involved in the process of educating our nation’s children. Let’s find someone to make a movie about this. Why are we waiting?  We need a better title though. Waiting for Data Teams?? Not catchy. Any suggestions?

And I really do think if there is a Superman for education, it is  Geoffrey Canada and his Harlem Children’s Zone.  He’s doing what’s been thought to be impossible.  But I see schools who don’t have a Geoffrey Canada leading the effort,  doing similarly great things. We need to feature them in our film.