Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Won’t Back Down — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s feel-good movie “Won’t Back Down” is the “inspired by a true story” saga of a mother and a teacher who worked together to take over a failing school in Pennsylvania.  Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis star as the women who got the support of the other parents and teachers despite the opposition of the teachers union.  The movie has created a lot of controversy on all sides for its portrayal of the teachers union as interested only in job security, hours and pay for teachers and not what is best for their students and willing to resort to threats, bribery, and character assassination to maintain their power.   A quote often attributed to real-life teachers union president Albert Shanker (“When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”) is used in the movie even though there is no record of his having said it.  It is documented, however, that he said, “It is as much the duty of the union to preserve public education as it is to negotiate a good contract.”  (Fans of the Woody Allen movie “Sleeper” may remember that there is a joke about Shanker getting a bomb.)

The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch is very critical of the film because they say it is funded by businesses with a hidden agenda — to get parents to use “trigger laws” to get rid of the unions and administrations at under-performing schools so that private businesses can take over and make a profit.  Families who view the film should find out how “trigger laws” work in their own community and what standards are being applied in their own school systems for evaluating proposals to improve the students’ experience and results.



Previous Posts

Black or White
Writer-director Mike Binder sure likes to get Kevin Costner drunk. As in his uneven but impressive "The Upside of Anger," Binder once again has Costner playing a man who is a little lost and a usual

posted 5:58:45pm Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Black Sea
Two comments made by characters in this film summarize what it is that makes submarine stories so instantly compelling. "Outside is just dark, cold, and death," says one. "We all live together or

posted 3:51:06pm Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Ira Glass Talks to "Boyhood's" Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/D6mwbnSIk4c" frameborder="0"] "Boyhood" writer/director Richard Linkater and star Ellar Coltrane talk to "This American Life's" Ira Glass about making the film over a twelve year period that began when Coltrane was six years old.

posted 9:59:48am Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Super Bowl Commercials 2015: Highlights and Previews
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/P6K0siUb5Ts?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Which one are you looking forward to?

posted 9:41:33am Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »

For the First Time at Sundance: A Panel on Faith and Films
The acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, where ground-breaking films and indie favorites often premiere, will have its first-ever panel discussion of faith and films this week. “Hollywood reflects soci

posted 3:37:53pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.