Most teachers across America are still enjoying a bit of summer vacation. In this free time, they can begin piecing together one of those Chuck Norris Facts lists about a new educator hero: Matt Damon.
“Matt Damon created fire by rubbing two ice cubes together.” –Tim Kramer, science teacher
“The Black Eyed Peas were called ‘The Peas’ until they met Matt Damon.” –Joy Fife, music teacher
“Matt Damon is the reason Waldo is hiding.” –Tony Whalen, history teacher
So here’s a completely out-of-context clip of Matt Damon being interviewed by ReasonTV’s Michelle Fields at the Save Our Schools March in Washington DC this past weekend. Damon showed up to support public school teachers, who rallied against No Child Left Behind testing policies and inequality in public schools. Fields and her cameraman tried to mix it up with Damon — “hey, maybe if we pwn Will Hunting it’ll go viral” — but the shorn actor wasn’t having any of it. Watch this backfire:
Well, how about them apples? Matt Damon just served the “shitty” cameraman.
Now, before we just throw the stamp of approval on this and move on, it is fair to say there are bad teachers in America. Maybe not 10 percent like the cameraman’s imagined statistic, but there certainly are educators who have tenure but shouldn’t. You know which other professions have bad apples? All of them. There are bad teachers, there are bad cops, there are bad firemen, there are bad bus drivers, there are bad stock traders, there are bad real estate brokers, there are bad meteorologists. Every profession must sift through the crap. People who are bad at their job exist everywhere. But to vilify *all* teachers based on the worst among them, which is what the anti-union crowd is hellbent on doing, is just about the cheapest shot you can take. It’s beneath rational argument. It’s low-hanging fruit.
We need good teachers. Good teachers can get through the year’s entire required curriculum plus another half, whereas bad teachers might not cover 50 percent of the required curriculum. Our kids lose with bad teachers. Should unions protect the small percentage of bad teachers that do nothing to educate our kids? No. But should all good teachers be lumped in with the bad, especially when our national testing standards are a joke? Of course not. We need policy discussion, we need alternatives, we need vision. We don’t need the peanut gallery trying to play Gotcha! with celebrities.
If ReasonTV and the anti-union crowd wants to discuss policy alternatives to educating the next generation, they should do it, loudly and rationally. This pathetic attempt, however, is utter silliness.
For more context from the day, here’s Matt Damon’s headlining speech:
And here’s some more of ReasonTV’s coverage of the Save Our Schools rally:
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