Bill Gates and Davis Guggenheim talk about new doc Waiting for Superman
Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim hopes that Waiting for Superman, his new documentary about the American education system, will have the same global impact as his film An Inconvenient Truth. “We are failing millions of kids in America—1.2 million kids in America drop out of school every year,” he said at a press conference for the film.
The doc follows a group of kids through public school and highlights problems within the system, like the bureaucracy of teachers’ unions and a defeated attitude toward improving education in low-income neighbourhoods.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation almost 20 years ago to improve education levels across the States. “If you look at the computer science department in the top schools, the majority are not U.S. born. Berkeley would be 70 per cent foreign born, which says something about our education system,” said Gates. “This is something businesses should care about because it hits the two biggest issues, which are the competitiveness and justice of the country.”
But it’s not just America that’s slipping on the global market; producer Lesley Chilcott notes that other countries, including Canada, are slipping in terms of math and science levels. “Other countries can take us as a warning sign.”