Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

“Superman” revisited

From the Nashville Scene, another thoughtful review of “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” this one with some intriguing academic footnotes:

In a broader sense, Waiting for “Superman” may contain the seeds of its own ineffectuality. Academics such as Louis Althusser, writing on Marxism in the 1970s, conceived of a critical theory of popular culture in which the ruling class, in order to stave off revolution, creates pop-culture objects — books, music, movies — which allow revolutionary impulses to be expressed and expended. Viewing scenes of overthrow and revolt in the cinema, the people would experience release, and fail to feel the need to revolt in real life.

That is the fear with Waiting for “Superman.” Though the frustration and indignation at the plight of these children is intense, the film may serve as a sort of catharsis through outrage — leaving the viewer feeling subconsciously satisfied, despite the message.

That would be a tragedy — to see and not act. Despite his clear ideology and simplistic solutions, Guggenheim does have one thing absolutely right: Our education system is failing hundreds of thousands of students and families every day. We must act, but the solutions lie in dedicated hard work, not the waving of a magic wand (or the writing of a magic contract).

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Chattanooga TV report

Chattanooga’s CBS affiliate, WDEF, covered the Ochs Center’s public policy forum on early education. The video is here.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Chattanooga Times Free Press report

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports on yesterday’s public policy forum on early education:

Harlem, N.Y., and Chattanooga are very different cities thousands of miles apart, but community members learned on Saturday there are striking similarities.

The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s University Center held a public policy forum regarding children’s education in Hamilton County. The event’s featured guest speaker was journalist Paul Tough, author of “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America.”

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Forum in Chattanooga

On June 20, I’ll be talking about Whatever It Takes and the Harlem Children’s Zone at a forum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on preparing children for early school success. Details here.