Matt Damon's 'Teacher Rant' Could Teach FOX News a Thing or Two (VIDEO)


matt damon reason.tvIf you didn't catch it, last weekend, Matt Damon railed out on a Libertarian reporter and her cameraman at a Save Our Schools rally. The reporter, Michelle Fields, asked him why he doesn't think job insecurity should be an incentive for teachers. Then, Damon's response was so passionate, so right-on, it was cheer-worthy. He said what she was insinuating was "like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they've got tenure ... A teacher wants to teach!"

Damn straight! But that didn't stop far right-wingers from weighing in on the debate, calling Damon's bluff. For instance, Michelle Malkin from FOX News today wrote a column called, "Matt Damon's Silly Teacher Rant."

In short, Malkin ripped Damon as a "walking public-service reminder to immunize your children early and often against La-La Land disease" and discussed how the reason our kids are falling short in education these days should be directly attributable to ...

... today's teachers -- churned out through lowest-common denominator grad schools and shielded from competition -- have barely mastered those skills themselves. Un-educators have abandoned "drill-and-kill" computation for multicultural claptrap and fuzzy math, traded in grammar fundamentals for "creative spelling," and dropped standard civics for save-the-earth propaganda. 

Someone, please enlighten me, what planet is this woman living on?! My aunt has taught in the Miami, Florida public school system as a math educator for 30 years. Almost 90 percent of my closest friends are professional EDUCATORS. (By the way, last I consulted my old pal Merriam-Webster, "un-educator" is not a word, Michelle. What kind of education did YOU receive?) They all busted their asses in undergrad and later, grad school, so that they could work all hours of the day, making not-so-terrific money, and teaching kids at all different levels, from all different socioeconomic backgrounds art, science, math, literature, journalism, or "just" their ABCs.

They, like Matt Damon, are passionate about what they do; they don't need to be threatened by someone who has never stood in front of a classroom, but is perfectly comfortable slashing money for education and busting up "evil" unions. They don't have to be told "shape up or ship out" in order to do an amazing job and get results from their students. Neither did the elementary and high school teachers we grew up with in the Illinois public school system, who taught my peers and me history in creative, college-level ways (formal debates, researched essays, or even writing poetry); who prided themselves on crafting students who would succeed as well in AP Calculus as they did in AP Art; who helped students, from gifted to challenged, learn by opening our eyes to art, culture, architecture, music, language, theater -- just as frequently as we got down to basics in the chemistry lab or algebra classroom.

No student or teacher I know considers a standardized, No Child Left Behind BS test a valuable educational tool. Filling in little bubbles cannot prove a child has learned a thing. How you like them apples?

Malkin's and Field's views are the kind that could take this country back in time, when children were considered better off in a factory than in the classroom. Fear-mongering our teachers and our children into succeeding isn't the answer. 

Here's the video of Matt's exchange with if you missed it:

What do you think about what Matt Damon and Michelle Malkin are saying about education?


Image via YouTube

politics, protests, education


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bills... billsfan1104

Just because your friends are teachers does not mean all the teachers are like them. Why is our country always ranked the lowest in Science and Math?? Because we dont teach our kids anymore the basics. The teachers do not work with the parents, and the parents do not work with the teachers. The teacher unions dont care about the children, they only care about their pocketbook.

Something needs to change. And acting like teachers are Gods, and are the victim, is not going to help our kids.

Leanne Carnegie

She's right.   I don't like NCLB, or basing school/teacher performance on testing of students, but the testing DOES show that we have a problem in our school system.    The answer isn't to deprive individual schools of funding for bad scores, but rather to rework the overall system.  Tenure has GOT to go... unions need way less power and we need to get back to basics and attract top grads to the teaching profession.   To get good results, we need good teachers.   Putting them all on a pedestal and praising them for mediocre results is no way to fix our system.  

I had some really bad teachers growing up.. some great ones, but some really bad ones as well.   Our districts need to have the freedom to remove those teachers without a huge legal battle, we need to pay our teachers well and expect the very best out of them.   Treating them all as saints is just stupid, of course there are "bad" teachers... pretending there isn't is just ignorance.

Sara Haxton

When it comes to educating our children, the teacher in the classroom is only 1/3 of the whole.  Parents play another 1/3, then you have the child completing the whole.  If a young child is failing in school, and I am talking k-2 look at the parents first, then the teacher, and then the child.  Between 2-8 grade look to the parents, then the child, and then the teacher. And in High School look to the child, then the parents, and then the teacher. A lot of parents pat their kids on the head and send them off to school like their jobs in raising the child is over and if anything goes wrong it is the school's fault. Parents you are your child;s first and best teacher, without you being actively involved you are dooming your child to failure.  Teachers can only do so much and threatening them will not make things better, in fact it will make things worse.  Teachers are not in the job because of the money, they teach because it is in their souls to teach. A tripod can not stand on 1-2 legs and be stable it needs all 3 legs to work. 

Nadima Zegar

As one of Maressa's teacher friends, I just felt the need to respond to your response.  As an educator, I am a firm believer that individual opinions are important.  Your blatant disregard for grammar and punctuation, however, is a bit troubling to me. Therefore, I felt the need to help you out a bit and offer a bit of constructive guidance for the next time you want to share your opinions in a public forum. Corrections will appear within parenthetical notations i.e. (x):

"Just because your friends are teachers(,) does not mean (that) all the teachers are like them. Why is our country always ranked the lowest in (s)cience and (m)ath?(? you only need one question mark, and science and math should not be capitalized.) Because we don(‘)t teach our kids (anymore the basics (word order-it should read "the basics anymore"). The teachers do not work with the parents, and the parents do not work with the teachers (hearsay-my communication log/IEP meeting schedule/parent teacher conference time would prove otherwise). The teacher unions don(‘)t care about the children(;) they only care about their pocketbook(s) (PLURAL/SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENT). Something needs to change.  And(,) acting like teachers are Gods, and are the victim(s), is not going to help our kids."


Well played.  And since I'm so overpaid, this one's on the house.


CStarr CStarr

Billsfan- are you crazy?

"The teachers do not work with the parents"? What world are you living in?

Do you seriously think it is only the God-like teachers who are to blame? There are far more good teachers out there than bad teachers.

momto... momtolittleg

A-FREAKING-MEN to this post!

To billsfan1104- evidently nobody taught you how to use apostrophes, capital and lowercase letters, or proper sentence structure.  I don't know any of my collegues who consider themselves to be gods, though everyone EXPECTS us to be.  Haven't you seen Waiting for Superman?

The problem is that EVERYONE thinks they know what's wrong with education, but they have NO experience in it.  I don't know crap about how to buy or sell stocks, so I keep my nose out of the business of the financial market.  You'll never see me (or most average Americans) stick my nose into the economy and tell them how to run things.  But everyone feels entitled to put their opinion on education out there.  How do you know we don't teach the "basics"?  Or that we have ANY CHOICE about what to teach our students?  The government tells us what, and how, to teach.  You want to blame someone, blame them.  Or you can blame the parents,  some of whom can't be bothered to teach their kids how to behave so that we could actually teach. 

momto... momtolittleg


Are there bad teachers out there?  Sure.  But not nearly as many as people like you would like to believe.  Are there corrupt unions?  Probably, but not in my state, where they aren't even allowed.  You have NO IDEA how hard we teachers work, so you do YOUR job and let us do ours (with few resources and badly-behaved children) without constant criticism.

To Nadima- I was writing my comment as you were writing yours- awesome English lesson, there!

Leanne Carnegie

So, Sara.... the teacher is with the student for 6 hours out of the day, teaching... and yet they are always the least responsible for the outcome?  Come on.   I agree that all sides need to put in the work, but that's just silly.

How about school choice to get parents involved?   Nothing like putting in the work to find your child the best school for him/her to engage parents in the system and encourage their participation!   Or, possibly a sliding scale fee?   $ investment = vested interest.

kisse... kisses5050

 Tenure. It keeps the teachers from looking over their shoulders and at at the students where their attention needs to be.

bills... billsfan1104

Nadima, Thank you very much. I am typing from my phone, so I make some mistakes. I never ever said you were overpaid. Please point that out to me. Why feel the need to be nasty to me?? I have an opinion, which I am entitled too. I didnt personally attack the author, but it seems like because I had a different opinion from yours, you need to be nasty to me. WHY??? What did I do???

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