By Myrlia Purcell on
On July 30, Matt Damon spoke out for teachers during the Save Our Schools March in Washington, D.C., joining thousands of educators, parents, children and others who care about the state of education in the U.S.
The crowds braved the scorching weather to show their concern over the demoralisation of teachers and the stringent testing process that many feel takes the joy and creativity out of learning.
The grassroots effort is instead looking to manifest equitable funding for public school communities, end high-stakes testing and allow for locally developed curriculums which can be better tailored to fit the children they are aimed at educating.
Educators, authors, school board members and policy experts turned out to lend their support, and some other celebrity supporters to get behind the movement included Richard Dreyfuss, Dave Eggers, and Jon Stewart, who spoke via a video aired at event.
Damon, whose mother is an educator, gave the closing speech at the event.
“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. No, my teachers were free to approach me and every other kid in that classroom like an individual puzzle,” he said.
Of course, Damon also spoke to reporters during the day, leading to a passionate exchange between himself and the crew from Reason TV, when asked if teachers perhaps didn’t work as hard as they needed to because they had too much job security.
Damon seemed to find this idea ridiculous, saying, “A teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a @!*$$# salary, and really long hours, and do that job, unless you really loved to do it?”
To learn more about the Save Our Schools movement, visit SaveOurSchoolsMarch.org.
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