Waiting for Superman makes following points:
- The current state of public schools is not good -- decades of increased spending per student (inflation adjusted) hasn't caused average scores to move up in any significant way. A large number of public schools are failing in their basic job of preparing students for college.
- The primary reason for this state is the current structure of the school system and the teachers union. There are no systemic incentives for teachers to improve themselves or work harder.
- The causal relationship between rich neighborhoods and better performing schools is overrated. Some of the charter schools have demonstrated consistently good results in poor neighborhoods.
- The single most important factor in quality of education is the quality of teachers.
- Longer school hours (or more time with academics) improves results.