Won’t Back Down – Touching Story That Doesn’t Back Down From the Conflict with Unions and Education
If you haven’t heard about Won’t Back Down yet, get ready. This film, true to the name, does not back down from one of the red button issues facing our country today. Won’t Back Down tells the story of a young mother’s tireless fight (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) for her daughter’s education. Her daughter is assigned to a less than desirable school – a school failing all systems of assessment. After losing a lottery draw into a successful charter school, and feeling like she was out of options, Gyllenhaal decides to take matters into her own hands by finding a loophole in the district policy. A teacher facing serious burnout, restrictions from her union, and challenges at home is the key to Gyllenhaal’s success. The teacher (played by Viola Davis) risks her career, and even her family, by working with Gyllenhaal to take on the powerful bureaucracy of the school district and teachers’ union.
Won’t Back Down, based on true events, shines a giant spotlight on one of the most controversial issues of our time – public education. I wish I had more access to the story behind Won’t Back Down to compare reality to Hollywood. That said, as a former teacher, some of the situations shown in Won’t Back Down while disturbing, are NOT inaccurate.
Two determined mothers, one a teacher, look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
After the success of Waiting for Superman, failing schools, lottery enrollment, and the power of teacher unions became mainstream knowledge. If you think of Waiting for Superman as the documentary that shed light on the crisis in public education, Won’t Back Down is Hollywood’s take on the situation. Won’t Back Down certainly adds a new level and brings even more talking points to the conversation and controversy surrounding schools, teachers, parents… and students.
About Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010