Teaching Profession

Matt Damon: Why Cut Teachers Out of Ed. Policy?

By Ross Brenneman — February 06, 2014 1 min read
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The hottest thing in marketing might be the Reddit Ask-Me-Anything approach, wherein the much-trafficed aggregation site invites popular figures to do a chat with its users. This week, actor Matt Damon stopped by as part of a promotion for his new ensemble film, “The Monuments Men.”

Damon, whose mother works as a professor, also holds education as a cause dear to his heart, and has passionately defended it, including at the July 2011 Save Our Schools rally in Washington. In his Reddit AMA today, he once again went to bat for a teaching profession whose members often feel beleaguered. Among other things, he questioned why teachers (of all people) are often excluded from education-policy decisions.

“I’ve always believed that they have to invite teachers into the discussion to help design policy,” he writes. “We would never let business men design warheads, why would you cut out educators when you’re designing education policy?”

He also had some choice words on testing, which he says has become far too consuming of educational resources, and gave a nod to Finland’s approach to developing and supporting teachers.

“People get tired of hearing about Finland, but they do it better than anyone, and when you look at how, it’s very simple. They have very highly trained teachers. Fifty percent of teachers here quit within five years. We just send these kids to these six-week Teach For America training courses and expect them to perform well.”

The whole thread is pretty interesting if you’ve got some time. He also expressed his enthusiasm for ice cream cones dipped in chocolate and nuts. A respectable choice.

Image credit: Wikipedia

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.