Waiting for Superman - Entertainment Evaluation Report
The documentary film “Waiting for Superman” reignited the debate over the quality of public schools in America. At the request of the Ford Foundation, the Harmony Institute completed an evaluation of the social impact of the documentary film. Before the film was released, the Harmony Institute identified indicators and constructed an evaluation framework to measure the social impact of the film. The evaluation methods included focus groups of audience members, online surveys, measuring social media analytics, interviews with education industry leaders, and analysis of press coverage. The goal of the evaluation was to measure the social impact beyond the film’s box office draw. The evaluation found that 80% of those who saw “Waiting for Superman” remembered key facts from the film’s discussion of public and charter schools. 66% of viewers surveyed stated that the film made them want to learn more about education policy. DonorsChoose.Org reported 75,000 new users who donated to education-related causes as a result of viewing “Waiting for Superman.” The evaluation also revealed that the film was more widely discussed online in education circles than in parenting or entertainment venues. The Harmony Institute’s work is a helpful contribution to the growing body of evaluation concerned with measuring the social impact of documentary films.