“Won’t Back Down” Might Make Debate
Alexander Russo | October 1, 2012
Your donation will help us produce journalism like this. Please give today.
Reviews of the new release “Won’t Back Down” vary widely and tend to conform with pre-existing views on education reform issues.
Critics like The Nation’s Dana Goldstein describe it as a mean-spirited caricature of classroom teachers funded by a conservative millionaire who wants to destroy public schools — a 2012 version of “Waiting For Superman.”
Supporters describe it as a heartwarming depiction of parents and teachers getting together to say, “We can do better.” The Manhattan Institute’s Ben Boychuk gives it a glowing review here.
Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s not a great film dramatically, and that we don’t really know whether the parent trigger can literally make a bad school better. However, the issue is a powerful one and there’s an outside chance that Jim Lehrer will ask the presidential candidates about the movie at the debate on Wednesday. That is, if education gets a question at all.