Thursday, August 4, 2011

Matt Damon: A+

Videos are surfacing from the SOS March of interviews with Matt Damon as he awaited his opportunity to speak at the rally held July 30 on the ellipse in humid, 100 degree weather.

Damon is impressive.  Apparently he has been paying close attention to the issue, no doubt in part because his mother is a successful professor of Early Childhood Education.  Regardless, he calls the current reform "punitive" and carrying an "intrinsic paternalism."

In any case, Damon is articulate, informed, concerned, and sometimes angry about what he is witnessing.  He makes it clear that he feels the children are being cheated and won't be prepared to be the problem-solvers and critical thinkers we will need to solve the next generation's problems.

Another video, created by Reason tv, has been making the rounds because of Damon's smack-down of the reporter who posted an SOS March video of a montage of guerilla-warfare interviews with a variety of participants.  In all of the interviews, the 'reporter's' bias was evident in the questioning.  Reason tv is apparently a libertarian outlet created by Drew Carey, the comedian.  I will not reproduce that video here.  It has been seen in multiple venues but drew the ire of Lawrence O'Donnell on his show Tuesday night.

In addition to understanding the issues with 'pay-for-performance' and high-stakes testing, Damon is aware that the participants in the march included the leading thinkers in education.  He argues that they should be included in reform plans and that even he, a successful businessman, has no expertise or right to create education policy.  (In another clip from this interview, not included here, Damon says that he should be paying more in taxes and neither he, nor anyone he knows, created jobs with the tax break they received.)

Thank you Matt Damon for using your star-power to help educators gain a voice in the current debate.  And thank you too, for 'getting it' and taking the risk to stand with those who stand for those who cannot speak: the children of America's tomorrow.

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