When I lived in Pasadena, we had senior projects where we were supposed to invest in our community and contribute something to others. My friend and I decided to volunteer at a nearby public elementary school.
Contrary to popular belief, it was not a wasteland of progressive indoctrination, though it was by no means a utopia of education. I will say that a majority of the children didn’t speak English at home. It was an exhausting venture trying to keep up with curriculum while simultaneously working on language comprehension. What struck me, however, was how much money I knew was going into education spending and how little seemed to appear in teachers’ classrooms and childrens’ resources. For example, in 2010 the LAPSD built Robert F. Kennedy high school for $578 million dollars. That’s just the spending for school – not the teachers.
Apparently, that’s not enough money for Matt Damon.
Last week, in an interview with Damon by The Guardian, Damon said, “Sending our kids in my family to private school was a big, big, big deal. And it was a giant family discussion. But it was a circular conversation, really, because ultimately we don’t have a choice.”
The appalling irony of someone who has agitated against school choice, using his star power, and thensome to restrict poor families from being able to choose between different schools for their children, saying he felt he didn’t have a choice. Oh, he had a choice – because that’s what money gave him – the freedom to choose. But if you don’t have that money, then … what? Tough shit? A real liberal mindset, Matt.
His reasoning (to the magazine, anyways)? “I pay for a private education and I’m trying to get the one that most matches the public education that I had, but that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system. It’s unfair.”
What a self-justifying canard. This education system is the product of precisely those progressive policies he no doubt wishes there were more of. A great example of the corruptive influence of these policies can be viewed in the Moving Picture Institute’s 4 minute video “The Machine.” The United States spends more money than any other country in the world on public education, but can’t seem to compete on many measurements. It’s because the money isn’t in the classrooms or with the kids, as I observed first-hand – it’s in political elections and unions and out-of-date benefits, which any analyst can tell you. And if he wants to talk about standards, ask why all that extra money being sent to public schools can’t seem to provide an education like the one we used to have.
The idea that people who support school choice are against teachers, are only interested in profit, or are any other number of fallacious, emotional arguments is proven false by Damon’s actions. People who want school choice are parents, because they want to provide for their children the best education they can.
Denying that choice to any but the wealthy will manufacture a society of class warfare and defeatism.