Matt Damon Fights for Teachers
Matt Damon is the product of public schools. He has a natural affinity for teachers and their success since his mother was a teacher.
One of the more outspoken and famous entertainers who are also considered liberal, he gave a heartfelt speech in front of the thousands in attendance after flying overnight from Vancouver to be at the rally.
He takes issue with the ever increasing use of standardized testing.
"I said before that I had incredible teachers. And that’s true. But it’s more than that. My teachers were empowered to teach me. Their time wasn’t taken up with a bunch of test prep — this silly drill and kill nonsense that any serious person knows doesn’t promote real learning."
Matt Damon believes that the emphasis placed on standardized testing makes it difficult for teachers to see their students as individuals and precious time is wasted which could be better used for teachers to recognize each students needs and to personalize each students learning experience that they have the best chance for success.
"I don’t know where I would be today if my teachers’ job security was based on how I performed on some standardized test. If their very survival as teachers was based on whether I actually fell in love with the process of learning but rather if I could fill in the right bubble on a test. If they had to spend most of their time desperately drilling us and less time encouraging creativity and original ideas; less time knowing who we were, seeing our strengths and helping us realize our talents."
In his closing Matt Damon offered teachers his support and encouragement.
"Please know that there are millions of us behind you. You have an army of regular people standing right behind you, and our appreciation for what you do is so deeply felt. We love you, we thank you and we will always have your back."