Videos have been playing a role in educational reform for some time (not to mention broader social movements, viz the case of the a documentary of Serbian opposition activities being used as a guide for opposition groups in Georgia), but the case of Waiting for Superman seems unusual, perhaps because it brings together two pressure points — school reform and anti-unionism. The latter seems perhaps to be driving it at the moment. Ohio governor Kasich invokes it — as he pushes to open the state up to Teach for America, shift more money into Charters, and end collective bargaining rights for public employees; I see it for sale in Whole Foods — the second largest aggressively anti-union corporation in the US (after Wal-Mart) — a good reason to avoid the place — but at least the popularity of the film has spawned a nice website — Not Waiting for Superman
“Not Waiting for Superman” is a product of the excellent Rethinking Schools group. The value of such sites, it seems to me, is not necessarily conversion (how a conversion narrative would work is something to think about) but instead to bring together different facets of counter-argument, to deepen a kind of oppositional vocabulary (as well as mobilizing articulations of different positions from which to take oppositional stances).
Check it out