Ah, Hollywood. The glitz, the glamor. The fame, the fortune. The liberal obliviousness. Today, that obliviousness refers to Matt Damon.
Matt Damon has long been a champion of public schools. Just two short years ago, the actor delivered a keynote address at the Save Our Schools event in Washington, D.C., where he sang the praises of his public education. “From the time I went to kindergarten through my senior year in high school,” he said “I went to public schools. I wouldn’t trade that education and experience for anything.” He ended his speech by telling public school teachers “We love you, we thank you and we will always have your back.”
It looks like he has changed his mind in the past two years. Damon, it turns out, sends his own children to private schools.
As an advocate for school choice, I can certainly sympathize. Parents should be able to send their children to the school that most matches their values. Damon stated that he was unable to find a public school that would give him an education like the one he had as a child, saying “That kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system.” One can sympathize with an education that doesn’t meet his values. It is, after all, a common story. I don’t fault him one bit for choosing private education while fighting for better public options.
However, Damon appears to be going about championing education in the wrong way. Let’s take a look at his own public school education. He attended both two public schools; Cambridge Alternative School and then the elite Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Clearly, Damon’s family found public schools that met their values and needs. They were available in his hometown and he received the education that his family thought best. Now that’s what he wants for his children. Isn’t that the perfect recipe to make him an advocate of school choice? While he says he will “agitate” for changes to public education, it sounds like he should focus on school choice rather than simply against standardized testing.
Matt Damon has the means to send his children wherever he would like to get them the education that he feels is best. I wish that every family had that luxury, but most do not. If Damon’s passion is to make things fair, he should be working for school choice. Then he could get his wish and send his kids to public schools, too. It’s a win-win for kids.