Recently a story in the news revealed that Matt Damon is moving from New York to Los Angeles and has decided to send his children to private school.
Why is this even an issue you ask? Don't conservatives advocate children going to private school? Why yes, we do. In fact conservatives for years have been in favor of school voucher programs that would allow low income families the opportunity to send their children to private schools, where they could be free from the failed public school systems inside our country.
Are all public schools failures? No. Personally, I think there are many public schools that do quite well and do offer children a great education that will prepare them for college and further education. However, inside many urban areas we cannot deny that many public schools offer substandard education, offering no incentive, and little opportunity for students. Many people have actually graduated without knowing how to read or only having the ability to read at an elementary level.
Matt Damon has been a proud and loud supporter of public schools. Maybe this has to do with his well-to-do background that allowed him to attend one of the suburban public schools that was considered to be a good school. He appears to be happy with his public school education and he certainly is entitled to that opinion; it may very well be correct but it would be nice for someone who claims to know so much to also recognize that not everyone has the choice of going to a "good" public school; many of our youth are trapped in schools where they cannot bring books home, where daily violence occurs, where teachers are not held accountable for their poor performance and cannot be fired because of union protection. There is truth on both sides and advocating a solution for those who are getting the raw deal are people who are being criticized by Matt Damon and other minds that think like him.
In a recent interview published in The Guardian, Matt's revelation of sending his children to private school was followed by him explaining how it was a tough choice and that LA schools are not "progressive" enough. What was not asked of him was his definition of "progressive."
When most of us hear the word progressive, we commonly associate this with liberalism and far-left ideology. Considering Damon's politics I believe this definition is what Damon is referring to yet, I cannot for the life of me understand how it is a LA public school would not meet "progressive" standards.
Exactly what research did Damon do to arrive at this conclusion? Did he call a variety of schools and question their overall curriculum? Did he have an assistant look up facts and figures that helped him come to his conclusions? If he did do this or something similar, this fact is not presented in his answer. He doesn't mention how it is he was able to come to this conclusion, which leads me to believe he did not do that type of research. Instead, he only mentions having a discussion with his family.
"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. I mean, 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." Damon has campaigned against teachers' pay being pegged to children's test results: "So we agitate about those things, and try to change them, and try to change the policy, but you know, it's a tough one."He doesn't have a choice? It's unfair? It's not progressive? For whatever reason Matt has chosen to blame others for his dilemma, instead of admitting that private schools are indeed a better option.
What about the people that do not have a choice of sending their kids to private schools because they lack the funds? Isn't that unfair as well?
This is so downright typical of the liberal mindset. What's good for others is not good for them. Democrats continually support public education (which is understandable considering they are bought by the teachers' unions), yet they themselves send their precious children to private school. Nobody questions them because that would be uncomfortable, politically incorrect, and of course democrats/liberals/progressives believe they are actually better people -- not for what they do but simply because they think a certain way and their "hearts are in the right place."
What's even more frustrating is trying to debate or discuss issues with them personally or one-on-one. They only want to see and believe the good in what they believe and not the good in what others believe and know to be true. When confronting the public school advocate with factual information that is contrary to their ideas, they like to resort to sanctimonious responses, dismissing challenges as being "wrong" and ill informed, and may often resort to childish name-calling. This can be witnessed in almost any discussion. When their cognitive dissonance is exposed, they will then lash out and place the blame on others or situations rather than taking responsibility for their choices. Indeed, they do not enjoy choices for themselves or others because accepting that reality would turn them into conservatives.
I do agree that there are many great public schools in this country. The Midwest, where I live, has many examples to be proud of. Most of these schools however are located in the suburbs where the communities are fairly wealthy and provide a good amount of tax dollars that afford them better choices in their child's education. The flip side of this however is that the poor people, liberals continually claim to care for, have limited choices in public schools and these are the type that are improperly funded and filled with teachers who only provide the bare minimum concerning their performance in the classroom. Yes, you can find teachers eager to help and teach but public schools are often covered in bureaucratic tape that prevent them from being able to properly discipline students who are out of control and commonly disruptive in class preventing other students to enjoy their education. They cannot fire teachers who are lazy or unwilling to improve their job performance due to union demands.
Private schools are more strict when it comes to behavior; they have higher standards; they teach at a much quicker pace covering more information; teachers who do not perform well can be fired. If the private school is a better option for liberals' children, why can it not be considered a better option for children from the lower classes? Do they really not want lower class children to have a better education? It's hard for me to make that accusation because my mind has a hard time believing that, but their beliefs and advocacy for public education while simultaneously sending their own children to private school cannot be viewed as consistent. It is hypocrisy and it is a choice, one that they have and others do not.