"Won't Back Down"- my honest assessment

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
"Won't Back Down"- my honest assessment
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 6:56pm

Actually, i don't think this movie is too bad, and I'll tell you why.  For one, a majority of teachers had to be on board for the takeover to be approved.  Each of the teachers was willing to go without union protection to get in a situation where they could actually teach.  In the movie, a union official actually quits her position to teach at the school (wonder if that happened in the true story?)  The movie did actually mention scenarios where unions protect good teachers, which is exactly what unions are supposed to do.  The movie portrayed just one bad teacher, and a bad principal.  I'm ok with that, because even though they are rare, bad teachers and especially bad principals do exist.  It is interesting that in the movie, these individuals were among the highest paid despite not doing their jobs.

The union in this movie could actually exist, but I've never seen it personally.  It was a union that was too strong.  For instance, it was against union rules to stay after school and help struggling students- I knew of a teachers' union that actually did that, but I find that truly dumb.  Other union rules were hurting, not helping good teachers.

As for the parent who starred in the movie, I wonder how true to life she really was.  She was working two jobs and clearing 23K a year, and still had time to spearhead this movement?  Meth addict or something?  I am currently working two jobs that pay very little as well, and I don't think even as a trained educator I could do something like that.

I think the moral of this movie is that unions do good things, but protecting bad teachers is bad.  Actually, that is my real-life gripe with the Ontario teachers' unions right now.  Many people that can really teach don't have work (or any help from the unions), while there are bad teachers out there that have guaranteed jobs.

In closing, I would like to say that I think there is a danger with this movie of parents and other interested parties getting the wrong idea.  They may choose to ignore that bad teaching is not that common, and think we have to trash all the unions.  The principal in this movie didn't do much to put the teachers in a position to need protection, but what about schools where that is not the case?  I know Students First likes this movie, but I suspect that is for the wrong reasons.  Also, what happens when this school meets state testing requirements?  Perhaps those teachers dreams of actually teaching would be thrown out the window- the movie conveniently doesn't follow the school story after the board meeting where it is approved.


Beth "Petrouchka"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000

They may choose to ignore that bad teaching is not that common, and think we have to trash all the unions. 

From what I read too many already have. I'm not blaming this new movie. They long ago started buying into talk radio and cable analysts with an agenda to back certain politicians. Look at Wisconsin and what happened in Indiana along with several other states.  People supported the union busting of the governors with rallies, letters to the editor, TV ads and websites blasting unions for protecting lazy teachers that  take their money without earning it. At least in Wisconsin there was a means to attempt to fight back. Indiana teachers had no recourse.