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A System of Failure Essays

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In 1938, the brainchild of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster first appeared in Action Comics. Deemed Superman, the mythical hero was dedicated to fight for social justice and overthrow tyranny. Soon after, his iconic flashy red cape and tight blue bodysuit graced the shelves of comic shops as he flew straight into the hearts and minds of fellow Americans faster than a speeding bullet. In spite of being a very foreign immigrant, Superman has long been portrayed as a loyal patriot fighting for "truth, justice and the American way". Through the years however, the meaning of “American way” has become increasingly complex not only in superhero comics but in modern society as well. The unfolding scenarios of the storylines often take on a greater role by emulating present-day events and confronting ethical and political complexities rather than simple black and white principles. In one of the most memorable scenes from the 1978 movie “Superman: The Movie”, Superman rescues a school bus full of children hovering off the Golden Gate Bridge. Flashing forward to present day America reveals a nation filled with weak educators, extreme budget cuts and very much in need of the same Man of Steel to swoop in and save the day. In these dire times, America can’t survive off muscles any longer. Jobs for middle class development are limited; manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, the agriculture industry depends large upon immigrant workers and the professional sector steadily replaces domestic workers with foreign ones due to the worldwide surplus of highly educated workers. Educated minds are a necessity for the upcoming generation of working-class Americans. It’s hard to ignore that America is dangling upon the precipice of educational r...


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Guggenheim, Davis, Billy Kimball, Lesley Chilcott, Bill Strickland, Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee, Randi Weingarten, Erich Roland, Bob Richman, Greg Finton, Jay Cassidy, Kim Roberts, Christophe Beck, and John Legend. Waiting for "superman". Hollywood, Calif: Paramount Home Entertainment, 2011.

"Promoting Power." Johns Hopkins University. Web. 22 July 2011.
"Reports Reveal Colleges with the Biggest, Smallest Gaps in Minority Graduation Rates in the U.S. | Education Trust." Education Trust | Closing the Achievement Gap. The Education Trust. Web. 19 July 2011.

"Statistics on American K-12 Public Education - The Broad Foundation - Education." Home Page - The Broad Foundation - Education. The Broad Foundation. Web. 20 July 2011.

Weber, Karl. Waiting for "Superman": How We Can Save America's failing Public Schools. New York: Public Affairs, 2010. Print.


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