Schooling Matt Damon

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(And before teachers-unions goons go on the attack, I am the child of a public school teacher and the mother of two children in an excellent public charter school by choice.) But Damon’s hinges came undone when confronted with the mild question.

“You think job insecurity makes me work hard?” he retorted. “That’s like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when she has tenure.” Gathering all the creative potential he could muster, Damon unleashed crude profanities on Fields. “A teacher wants to teach,” Damon fumed with his mother next to him. “Why else would you take a sh**ty” salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really loved to do it?”

Never mind that most out-of-work Americans would find nothing “sh**ty” about earning an average $53,000 annual salary plus health and retirement benefits for a 180-day work year.

Damon went on to deride standard, mainstream behavioral economic principles as “intrinsically paternalistic” and “MBA-style thinking.” And when the young reporter’s cameraman pointed out that there are bad apples in the teaching profession as in any profession, Damon called him “sh**ty,” too.

Tinseltown stars can afford to put emotion over logic, progressive fantasy over practical reality. The rest of us are stuck with the bill. And those whom bleeding-heart celebrities purport to care most about — the children — suffer the consequences of bad ideas.

Interminable teacher tenure in America’s largest school districts, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, has produced a rotten corps of incompetent (at best) and dangerous (at worst) educators coddled by Big Labor. As the D.C.-based Center for Union Facts reports, “In many major cities, only one out of 1,000 teachers is fired for performance-related reasons. … In 10 years, only about 47 out of 100,000 teachers were actually terminated from New Jersey’s schools.”

By contrast, as the educational documentary “Waiting for Superman” (produced by avowed liberal turned reformer Davis Guggenheim) pointed out, one out of every 57 doctors loses his or her license to practice medicine, and one out of every 97 lawyers loses their license to practice law.

In Los Angeles, it’s not just meanie tea party terrorists making the case for abolishing teacher tenure. When the Los Angeles Times exposed how the city’s tenure evaluation system rubber-stamped approvals and ignored actual performance, the district superintendent admitted: “Too many ineffective teachers are falling into tenured positions — the equivalent of jobs for life.” USC education professor Julie Slayton acknowledged: “It’s ridiculous and should be changed.”

Pop quiz: Would multimillionaire Matt Damon apply the same warped employment practices and dumbed-down curricular standards to his own accountants that he champions for America’s public school teachers? Film at 11.

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  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Some women will go to any length to get their name on a marquee beneath Matt Damon’s.

    • StephenD

      Because what she said is wrong??
      I grow weary of the tired arguments that are not arguments at all. Immediately, the ad hominems fly because there is no argument of facts to support your position. Sad, and America is getting fed up with your rhetoric.

  • kblink45

    It was just another angry email wondering why Johnny's grades had dropped. I responded, as usual, that Johnny wasn't turning in his homework and that he needed to participate more. What happened next was a miracle. I didn't hear a word from my principal and yet Johnny started doing his homework and paying attention in class. He even asked questions! His grades stopped free-falling. I shouldn't have been shocked. The original email had demonstrated barely above a fourth grader's mastery of English. Johnny's parents weren't typical American parents, who have a red phone to the administration and believe that education is an entitlement. His parents were first generation Chinese immigrants. When I asked them later how they had pulled off this miracle, they explained that they told Johnny to "pay attention and do your work!" And, risking the ire of the ACLU, they had also taken Johnny's xbox away until his grades improved.

    The true cause of America's decline is cultural, and education is simply one front line in this war. Reforming education will come to naught unless spheres of personal responsiblity are reestablished and enforced.

    • Jim_C

      "The true cause of America's decline is cultural, and education is simply one front line in this war. Reforming education will come to naught unless spheres of personal responsiblity are reestablished and enforced."

      Exactly.

      I don't know what Michelle Malkin is talking about re: "fuzzy math" and "creative spelling;" my kids math is different than mine but much more integrative and practical. I actually think it is superior to the "drill and kill" math I learned because the underlying concepts are reinforced through application.

      That parents long out of school don't understand that does not surprise me–but they should either make the effort, or find someone who can help.

  • Armando

    If Damon performed as many of so-called teachers perform in schools he'd be laughed out of a job pronto by moviegoers.

    • Jim_C

      Hey Armando, aren't you late for the rocket surgery you're performing, genius?

  • SoCalMike

    Tinsel town ass hats like Damon just can't avoid revealing their overall ignorance and lack of knowledge whenever they open their mouths without rehearsed lines.
    Matt Damon should read. I would say read more and speak less but I doubt he reads much at all beyond scripted movie lines he has to memorize.

  • DavidB

    I used to like Damon, now I just think he’s a misguided dote. It’s a real shame.