School Choice

Public School Booster Matt Damon to Put His Kids in L.A. Private School


Credit: / photo on flickr

Matt Damon is moving to Los Angeles. When he gets there, he's going to enroll his four daughters in private school.

No biggie, right? Rich, famous people put their kids in fancy private schools all the time. He probably looked at his options and made the best decision he could for his family. 

Just one thing: Damon, whose mom is a public school teacher, frequently makes a big stink about the importance of public education. A really big stink.

This weekend, Damon told the Guardian:

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.

Let's pause and enjoy that phrasing for a moment: "We don't have a choice."

Of course, Damon does have a choice. Anyone with the resources to pay for private education already enjoys school choice. 

Damon said he wanted his kids to have "that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system." Sounds lovely. But for the folks locked into the system Damon supports, such preferences are irrelevant. 

Damon has been critical of various aspects on modern public schooling, including the focus on testing and quantitative measures of success. But he is also vehemently opposed to alternate providers (especially those that make a profit) making any headway in a system that badly needs diversification. Damon says he will continue to campaign for change is the public school system, but—breaking news here—it is "tough" to change policy. 

NEXT: David Paterson Criticizes Rep. Rangel's Comments on the Tea Party

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  1. Public school are meant for the serfs, not the elites.

    1. ^^^ THIS.

    2. It’s all there in the word “public.” You think Matt Damon is the public?

  2. M


  3. can’t wait to see the South Park episode.

    1. classic

  4. I will repost my Morning Links comment on this:

    The really funny thing is that I guarantee you that, policy for policy, his local public school is actually more progressive than the private school he chose.

    When he uses the word “progressive” he doesn’t mean politically progressive or “employing progressive educational theory”. He means that the private school feels progressive, because when he shows up there all the moms are upper class hippies who talk about art. He means what we could call “farmer’s market progressivism”, which is a matter of atmosphere and not of policy.

    It’s also a type of progressivism you can’t experience when the poor are around. Because a school that caters to the poor will feel “urban”. And “urban” is not “progressive”, no matter how completely and utterly progressive dogma is followed there.

    To give another example – this is why the Whole Foods boycott calls failed. It didn’t really matter what John Mackey’s actual politics were. When you walk into a Whole Foods, it feels progressive. It has the right set design, and the right people are there. That made it impossible to convince the target audience that Whole Foods wasn’t actually progressive. Because it’s the atmosphere they really want, not the reality.

    1. I totally agree. Being progressive is fashion. It is a way to mark yourself as a certain kind of person. It is like wearing the right clothes. When you think about it that way, it is no surprise at all that actors and entertainers tend to almost always be progressives. Being progressive doesn’t require you to think. All you have to do is say the right things and you are in. And once more you are in with the right kind of people. Your people.

      1. I also totally agree. I think this is why so many self styled progressives seem so clueless when they argue, they have never actually thought about what they believe, they just wear it as a fashion statement.

      2. It is very true. I’ve even gotten some of my “progressive” friends to admit it.

      3. “Being progressive is fashion”

        The word I would use is affectation.

        1. “preening and signaling” is a phrase someone gave to me the other day.

        2. The word I would use is affectation.

          Fasion, in and of itself, is affectation, isn’t it?

        3. In the same way that liberal’s “intellectualism” is an affectation.

      4. Being the best progressive is having the biggest lip plate in the village. It doesn’t matter how stupid it is, how utterly pointless, but having that makes you a big player in the tribe.

      5. Progressives aren’t really into progress. They’re into looking down on other people that don’t agree with them.

        1. Well said sir.

        2. Well, in fairness progressives hardly have a monopoly on that. That’s kind of what we do in the comment section as well. 🙂

          We just don’t try to force them to change using the government.

        3. I saw a bumper sticker that said “Not left. Not Right. Forward.”

          Right! Forward to individual liberty and no income tax! That’s what they meant, isn’t it? Real progress.

        4. “You’re racist/sexist/ignorant!”

          is the new

          “You’re fat/ugly/stupid”

          At its core the message is “I’m better than you” People are always jostling for social power. This is why things like feminism which should have a termination point never will.

    2. Same reason that Wal-Mart comes in for so much more crap than Target or other retailers that pay the same wages. Wal-Mart brings low prices to people who are NOKD. Target spends a bit more on decor, aims at a little higher range.

      (Some folks on the leftish side do realize this, like Jason Furman.)

      1. Same reason that Wal-Mart comes in for so much more crap than Target or other retailers that pay the same wages. Wal-Mart brings low prices to people who are NOKD.

        Right, and when it comes to, well, you know, those people, progressives stop even pretending to believe what they say about class.

        1. Well, after all, the “progress” in “progressivism” stands for “I will force you to progress until you are just like me in every way.”

          1. How else can we achieve diversity?

            1. You will know diversity has won when everyone is diverse. 😉

    3. Beautifully said. And I like the Whole Foods analogy. You really get the sociology involved.

      What’s weird about the new Whole Foods in mid-town Detroit is that it’s jammed with people who don’t seem to be the ‘right’ people. They’re just ordinary Detroiters who’ve been dying for a real, well-stocked supermarket. So the aisles are jammed any time I go there. And we won’t talk about the parking lot.

      I know it’s another case of crony capitalism, but it’s still nice to be able to stop in there on the way home.

      1. What Detroiters really need are Aldi’s.

        Lots and lots of Aldi’s.

        1. Or Trader Joe’s, since it’s another Aldi.

          1. Big fan of Aldi. Not as much of a fan of Trader Joe’s, which seems like a hipper/more upscale version of Aldi. At least the one here does.

        2. The same guy who owns Aldi’s owns Trader Joes. Fresh & Easy is substantially similar to Aldi’s (I’m not sure what regions either store actually covers).

          1. The same guy who owns Aldis in half of Germany and half the countries in which it operates owns Trader Joes. However, the Aldis in the USA are owned by the guy who owns the other half of the Aldis.

            Aldi North and Aldi South split many years back over brothers disagreeing about whether to sell, I think, cigarettes in their stores.

    4. This has long been my view, that much of this sort of political position is about fashion more than philosophy.

      1. Of course it is. Ask any Prius driver why they chose a car that poisons the environment. Ask any college douche wearing a Che t-shirt why he supports mass murder. Ask anyone recycling paper or glass why they think the environment should take more abuse on their behalf. You’ll get a confused look every time because they do it to fit in with the right people, not because they believe, or know anything about, the positions they’ve taken.

        Fashion. Move to the left. Fashion. Move to the right.

        1. I’ll recycle metal, plastic and glass, but not paper. There is zero economic value to recycling paper. Glass can be re-used over and over at a fraction of the energy needed to create it from virgin silica, plastic now has a market for the post-use material and metal has always had one, due to the energy and resource intensive nature of making metal from raw materials.

          But paper? Pffft. Bury it.

          SLD: recycling shouldn’t be mandatory and should be driven solely by the market.

          1. Yes. If it made sense to recycle something, someone would be willing to pay you for your trash. And indeed, in the case of glass and aluminum they are. But paper? It is a loser and a waste of resources. The religious fervor about recycling drives me nuts.

            1. The wife-unit will recycle every fucking scrap of paper and cardboard that enters our house, but she’ll throw away metal, no matter how many times I explain the economics to her.

              She does it just to fuck with me, I hope.

              1. Mine will shot-block a straw wrapper on the way to the trash can, but will think absolutely nothing of making a bonfire in the fireplace with cardboard boxes. She will insist on paper bags at the grocery store (because plastic is “bad for the environment”) and then use those same bags as kindling. I’ve given up looking for sense or logic.

            2. Yes. If it made sense to recycle something, someone would be willing to pay you for your trash.

              That’s the thing that isses me off the most over recycling.

              The county picks it up for “free” and supposedly makes money off of selling the waste stream to recylers. I tell you what, *I’ll* sell it myself, keep the money and you can cut my fucking taxes. Capiche?

              Someone’s making money off of this, but it isn’t me. As a bonus, they can always threaten to start going through our trash and fining us for failing to recycle sufficiently. But, no that’s no slippery slope.

          2. Glass can be re-used over and over at a fraction of the energy needed to create it from virgin silica

            Are you sure you’re not thinking of Al?

            I wasn’t planning on researching glass recycling today, but hey, why not.

            1. Ok, it’s not as efficient as aluminum recyling, but still better than raw.

              Objection retracted, commencing self-flagellation.

          3. There’s a big recycling dumpster near me that takes paper, and I have reduced my garbage load so much that I cancelled my garbage pickup because I was paying for the minimum one can a week and only filling a can once every six or eight weeks. Idiots have no option to pick up and pay for a can once in a while, so I dump a small garbage sack once every couple of weeks at work.

            If the do-gooders want to subsidize my garbage reduction, I won’t complain.

          4. I am not an expert, but my impression:

            Clear glass is probably good for recycling, colored glass is probably not. (Though brown glass is better to recycle than green glass, if you want to get detailed. From my understanding green glass is worthless as a recyclable material.)

            Paper is pretty borderline. Don’t spend any extra energy on recycling it. If it requires equal energy to get it to recycling vs throwing it away, then go ahead, it’s not any worse, but going out of your way to recycle is pointless.

            Some types of plastic are ok, a lot are not.

            Metal is absolutely worthwhile, that’s why people will pay you for it.

            There were some great articles at one of the Cato Institute sites about recycling recently. The problem with the obvious solution (charge the “correct” price for landfills and the market will work out when it’s worthwhile to recycle) is that “landfill” vs “recycle” are not actually the only two options, and there are some negative externalities with options 3 and 4 (“burn it in your backyard” and “dump it on the side of the road”). So landfills end up subsidized way below their actual cost, and the market for recycling ends up distorted as well.

            1. I used to be in the paper business, some years ago, and I was told flat-out that recycling was a scam, as far as environmental issues went. At the time, the problem was the bleaching of the recycled paper to make it that useful white color. Maybe things have changed since then.

              1. The way it was put to me was that: we make paper from pine grown on tree farms, not old-growth redwood, because pines are cheap and grow fast; we’re not running out of pine; paper decomposes, ’cause it’s wood. Recycling paper results in a net environmental loss, because you’re getting crap paper in exchange for fewer trees replanted and whatever it cost in energy to recycle it.

          5. i recycle paper constantly, in my compost bin. The other way, not so much.

          6. Most things can be recycled in some circumstances. A box manufacturer recycling the odd bits that they don’t use – makes perfect sense to recycle; a consumer at home? Probably not.

            A cafe recycling the hundreds of glass bottles its patrons discard every day? Probably makes sense. A consumer at home recycling the 3 glass bottles they use per week – maybe not.

    5. I will repost my comment too:

      I bet the private school isnt unionized.

    6. Jimmy Carter sent his daughter to public school in DC, if my memory serves me…

      JC was not the worst president in my life time, and Roslyn was a babe.

      Just a flow of consciousness from me. You’re welcome.

      1. He was the best president of my lifetime.

  5. Uh, hat tip?

    Lord Humungus| 8.6.13 @ 9:21AM |#|?|filternamelinkcustom


    Public school supporter Matt Damon admits he sends his kids to PRIVATE schools because they are more ‘progressive’…..ssive.html

    1. We don’t accept recycled blog posts around here. Sorry.

  6. So one of the people who matter supports public schools in theory but sends his kids to private schools? I see that some time-honored traditions are faithfully followed. Never underestimate the power of special pleading.

  7. …”We don’t have a choice.”…

    Slavery is freedom!
    Lies are truth!

    1. To be fair, only the biggest dick of a parent would choose to send their kid to a government education camp.

      1. I think we’ve established that he’s a dick.

      2. When the only other options are an unaccredited Baptist “Academy” or a college prep school where tuition is half your salary, public school stops looking so bad.

        1. I didn’t quite mean it like that; I don’t consider there to be a choice in that scenario.

        2. Home schooling is always an option.

          1. Not when both parents work.

            1. You have to sacrifice many things in your life to give your children a great education.

              1. Only the state will barrel through your door with SWAT team in tow if they think you’ve left them alone for any number of hours.

          2. Would you want Matt Damon teaching you?

            Howard Zinn, every day, all day.

        3. Choose the Baptist academy. They’ll at least learn how to read and do sums.

  8. Well that’s what happens when you waste $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.

  9. “Mother fucker!!!”
    -Teddy KGB

    1. Oh, how much I despise that bumper sticker, If You Can Read This, Thank A Teacher. I was taught to read by my grandmother who attended school up to the eighth grade. By the fourth, I was reading at a level above my teachers and I had the SAT scores to prove it.

      1. SCAT — Southern California Achievement Test. The standard when I was a wee lad.

        1. Scat was standard in your school? You must have a powerful immune system.

          1. SCAptitudeTest

      2. I was taught to read by my grandmother…

        Same here. My grandmother made me read a passage from the newspaper every morning. Once I was finished, she then turned the paper upside down and made me continue with the next paragraph. I never understood at the time why she did this, but I now realize that it was incredibly valuable in developing critical thinking skills.

      3. I was reading before kindergarten. Does this mean I can remove those bumperstickers?

        1. That would be selling out – like removing your Dukakis/Bentsen bumper sticker. Just sell the underlying car rather than remove a single sticker.

          1. I meant other people’s stickers.

        2. Same. My mom couldn’t read enough of a book to me during story time, so she taught me how to read.

          Fish, teaching how to fish, etc.

          1. “Read a man a fish and he’ll eat for a chapter. Teach a fish to read and you’ll be stuck buying the fish a lot more books.”

            Or something like that.

            1. “One fish in a book is worth three in the pond.”

        3. me too. I started nagging my grandmother about speeding when I was three.

      4. Exactly. I could read whole books by kindergarten.

  10. Damon has been critical of various aspects on modern public schooling, including the focus on testing and quantitative measures of success.

    “Maeby got a crocodile in Math.”

    1. Watched that episode last night. So good.

  11. So the alternative ending has good ol’ Will Hunting taking the high paying job, leaving Skylar, ditching his Southie friends and forgetting his working class roots. Pisser.

    1. That’s not the alternative ending, that’s the actual ending.

      The credits are the last time that guy drives on the Mass Pike. Ever.

      1. The credits are the last time that guy drives on the Mass Pike. Ever.

        And that was the only not over the top preachy, conceited, contrived thing about that whole giant turd of a film.

        For some reason, I remember Affleck’s character being a bricklayer, which anywhere sane in America is a very well-compensated profession. I could be wrong though…

  12. You guys were right in AM Links, though: he totally asserts that the problem is that evil rethuglicans haven’t let him fix the public schools yet.

    1. But isn’t he making the schools worse by pulling his little darlings out of them? That is the argument that is always made against school choice; that all of the best students will go to private school leaving the public schools with only the worst making it impossible for them to function. The argument is that parents of good students owe it to the public schools to send their kids there.

      I don’t agree with that. But it is at least rational and an argument. But by that logic, which I am sure Damon agrees with, it would seem to me that he has a duty to send his kids to public school so that there can be two more good students in the school. If poor people have that duty and thus shouldn’t get vouchers, why doesn’t he?

      1. Right, but since all of you evil rethuglicans aren’t doing the same with your kids, he’s forced to do this.

        As soon as he forces all of your kids back into the public schools, well, after he watches how that works for a few years, THEN his kids will go back, too.

      2. Matt Damon realized his kids needed drool-proof paper and decided to help the public schools by keeping his kids away.

        That’s the story I’m going with. It’s the only way he could be consistent with his earlier comments.

  13. is he playing 500lb hand with that dog’s paw? you sick basatard.

  14. I’m shocked that leftist that claims to care about the lower classes refuses to allow his children to associate with them. SHOCKED I tells ya!

    1. Did you see where the Republican won some California state senate special election a couple of weeks ago? It is not exactly a big election. But it is an interesting one. It is a district in Central California that has like 25% unemployment and has seen its economy basically destroyed by the California environmental laws. It is also largely Hispanic and considered a totally safe Dem district.

      But a Republican won there. Amazingly enough, Hispanics don’t like being unemployed and totally fucked so a bunch of rich progs in San Fransisco can worship Gaia anymore than the rest of us do.

      The progs use social and racial division to cover their total elitism and disdain for anyone but the rich and upper middle class.

  15. The mental gymnastics involved in avoiding thinking “I am a hypocrite” are quite complex.

    1. Stories like this might not be so annoying, if liberals weren’t so quick to rely on Practice What You Preach arguments themselves. “If Ron Paul is against Social Security, he shouldn’t be on Social Security!”

      1. If those cockbites didn’t take that money out of my paycheck every month, I wouldn’t ask for it back.

        1. You don’t have a right to the money we said you’d have a right to when we initiated the program.

          1. (despite your future right to the money being the generalization for taking your money now. Fuck You, That’s Why.)

        2. I would agree to forego every penny paid toward SS from my very first job until now if it meant I wouldn’t have to pay another penny.

          1. but, but, but, Social Safety Net, Old people sleeping with dogs, cats eating dog food!11oneoneon

    2. There are no mental gymnastics involved. It’s all about feelings. If you feel that you’re not a hypocrite then that’s all that matters. No thinking necessary.

      1. No, his rationalizations about progressivism and the like involved thinking, at least of a sort, even if his initial desire was driven by feelings.

        1. I suppose there is some thinking required in rationalizing conclusions arrived at by emotions.

  16. 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.

    Oh! Brought tears to my eyes! I’m still crying! See my tears? Crying tears. Yes.

    Foul, lying cretin. He must think everybody else is a bigger fool than he is.

    1. Is it just me or does that sound like a roundabout way of blaming the rest of the family for it?

  17. He could always move to an ethnic neighborhood, so his kids can pick up on languages other than Spanish from their schoolmates, and gain other cultural insights that might be missing from other schools, even private ones. Unless, of course, he also finds this idea repelling…

  18. Damon said he wanted his kids to have “that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system.” Sounds lovely.

    It also sounds scary. He’s saying that there are schools out there that are far more progressive than the public schools he’s shunning. It gives me a frightening idea of what they would look like…

    1. They look like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but the patrons’ uniforms are somewhat smaller.

    2. I have a cunning plan. Open a high-end, private school that looks totally progressive and hip but is actually an institution of hardcore education with some libertarian and free market biases thrown in.

      “Mommy, Mommy, I won a Bastiat doll at school!”

      1. “And when I tear its head off, I make my brother put it back on again, thus boosting the economy!”

        1. Sweet

          1. It’s only a B+.

            He left out the regulatory scheme require for an A.

      2. I’m confused. Do we feed the kids who can’t be taught market economics to the the pythons?

        1. Wouldn’t pigs be more cost effective? Pythons have higher operating costs and I don’t know if you’d want to feed them to the other kids once they depreciate.

          1. (this counts as my submission to not-be-fed to the pythons/pigs)

          2. I’m just assuming that any of ProL’s plans tie back in to his opus Mountie Python restaurant chain. Pigs are involved somewhere in that but you’d have to ask him for details.

            Besides I think being fed to the class python would be more intimidating: “Remember what happened to Billie when he didn’t memorize his 9 times tables? That’s right Susie he’s that lump half-way through Edgar the albino python’s digestive tract. You don’t want to be like Billie do you?”

              1. I swear pigs or boar were involved in your plan. Or was it that someone else was suggesting that boars be released into the Florida wilds to hunt the snakes and then people ate the boars?

                Could there be bacon wrapped python?

                1. There could be, but as stated in our initial press materials, “Mountie Python also plans to expand into other mammal-free entr?es.”

        2. Two separate businesses. Of course, the catering agreement. . . .

  19. Up until college, David Friedman’s son and daughter were unschooled by him and his wife. It’s a very interesting approach somewhat reminiscent of Montessori and probably sounds crazy to many folks, probably even to homeschoolers who still follow traditional curriculum at home (his daughter choosing to play World of Warcraft and other games was part of the unschooling). But from his description, it sounded like it encourage creativity, kept their motivation–usually something pounded out of you in school–while increasing their autodidactic skills

    1. Unschooling does

      1. Unschooling does look whack to me, though I homeschool. I don’t have any desire to make them do it the way I prefer, though. And, hell, maybe they can post without screwing up the tags and cutting off half the post.

        1. My thought as well. I like the Montessori method, and most of my childrens’ education was self-directed — but leaving it completely unstructured has highly variable results. Lots of parents can’t unschool without it becoming an excuse to not educate at all.

        2. That episode of Wife Swap convinced me that it wasn’t that good of an idea.

    2. Yeah, I don’t know about that. My wife is homeschooling and has run into her share of unschoolers. A lot of them are either not really “unschooled,” or the kids are undisciplined in an insane way.

      1. Well, he related how his unschooled daughter upon college, complained about the irritated or impatient with the education and how her classmates were slackers.

        But I believe you though. I think the caveat, “results may vary” definitely applies. The same video game playing daughter also became interested and excelled at math with his help, and the son, Patri started the SeaSteading institute.

        1. .. complained about *being* irritated..

        2. I think the unschool successes come with parents who are, of course, actually pushing their kids to learn to read, write, and do math, whether they realize it or not.

          1. The unschooling strategy they used was to find interesting subjects they could apply the reading, writing, math to or would require them for greater appreciation, that would motivate them. It seemed like the Friedmans actively avoided rote learning and interestingly, Patri developed reading skills later than his peers when they were kids.

            1. I don’t doubt they did a good job, but I suspect the Friedmans are more intelligent than most unschoolers.

              I suppose we do a little of that with our kids, but it’s still based around a formal curriculum.

      2. I homeschooled my sons for 8 years – traditional style. The successful unschoolers I know allow very little by way of tv, video or computer games and the parents themselves spend their free time reading or engaging in interesting hobbies. To a certain extent, kids do what their parents do.

    3. I read that as “Thomas Friedman” at first.

      1. Well, it is clear that Thomas Friedman is unschooled, but in a different sense.

  20. You know why else this is bullshit?

    This guy doesn’t have to live in LA.

    It’s not like if he moves his family out of LA his agent will stop getting calls.

    I bet he’s out of the city on locations a vast amount of the time anyway.

    Drop your family in Vermont and send your kids to the public schools. If they’re good enough for my kid, they’re good enough for yours.

    1. Basically: “Being a millionaire, I don’t have a choice in where I buy my mansion.”

      1. You guys don’t get it. He’s still in character from Elysium and storming the elite, gated world of the uber-riche, for all of our sakes.

  21. We will always have a two tier for things like healthcare and education. The wealthy will always pick the premium service for these two.

    Matt Damon is pushing for a better public school system.
    The problem with an all private school system is that special education would be far too expensive for a family to afford. “What do you do with blind kids ?”, for example.

    As libertarians are not for government mandates, parents in the lower class would probably pick the cheapest (which would definitely be the crappiest) or not send their kids to school at all. If you want a modern day example, look at Mexico. This is exactly what happens.

    I like the idea of public education. As bad as schools in Camden NJ may be, they beat Mexico. And, kids do graduate from such schools in America and move on.

    I’d say let’s have the voucher system and public schools for special ed.

    1. The problem with an all private school system is that special education would be far too expensive for a family to afford. “What do you do with blind kids ?”, for example.

      That is why you have vouchers and subsidies. The problem now is that we are not getting any efficiencies of scale. Every public school has to account for every kid no matter how disabled. The disabled advocates have made it such that every school has to be designed for every kid. And that is wildly inefficient.

      For example, in Washington DC, the cost of public education is $29,000 per child. That is more than every Catholic school in the city and on par with the most exclusive private schools like Holton Arms and Sidwell friends. If you such down the city school system and gave every family a $29,000 voucher private schools would spring up in moments to take advantage of that kind of money floating around. More importantly, schools that specialized in educating the blind or the dyslexic or the emotional disturbed would arise. You wouldn’t have to send your blind kid to the school down the street. You could afford to send him to the special school for the blind with your voucher.

      The market caters to every other demand. Why would not cater to the demand for special ed? Provided of course people had the money to pay, which they would if we had vouchers.

      1. “schools that specialized in educating the blind or the dyslexic or the emotional disturbed would arise”

        That would be horrible! It would segregate students! Just “mainstream” them under the assumption that if you deny they’re different, they will stop being different.

        There was a hectoring story line in the cartoon *For Better of For Worse* in which a really impaired student was put in one of the regular classes, with a personal facilitator to help the child understand what the teacher was saying. The little-girl who was the hero of the story grew to appreciate the situation, but another, intolerant and evil little girl voiced criticism.

        Giving up mainstreaming would reduce the opportunities for progressives to stimulate themselves to climax at the thought of their own righteousness and the wickedness of people who don’t approve their policies.

        1.…..?q=Shannon‘s Story

          1. Apparently it was a cooking class, which I can kind of understand. But the point was that, Even More Important that Learning Cooking, the Kids Learned to Appreciate Difference.

        2. Mainstreaming is one of the sickest and most cruel things to come up in the last 30 years. Your putting kids into an environment they have no ability to navigate in.

          You know how lonely it is to always be different? You know how horrible it must be to always be the kid who is behind and warranting of sympathy?

          In contrast when handicapped kids go to school with other handicapped kids, they are not so different. And they can be above average or the best at some things. They excel in their own ways.

          Mainstreaming really shows that progressivism is mostly about giving progs the ability to feel smugly superior to the rest of society. Mainstreaming doesn’t help the kid and is in fact cruel in many ways. But what it does do is allow progs to preach at the other kids and feel superior as they teach tolerance.

          1. If the point is to get average kids to know disabled people as human beings, I would imagine that the worst way (especially with intellectual disabled) is to put the average and disabled kids together in an academic setting. Why not a setting where the kids are more on the same level, and can hence grow to appreciate each other more? Sports and regular friendship, for instance? But that wouldn’t work, because it wouldn’t be overseen by the benevolent professional tolerance-teachers.

            And incidentally, the public schools have really done a bang-up job teaching tolerance – matching the wonderful achievements in teaching math, science and languages.

            1. It goes back to progs and their total denial of human nature. They refuse to accept the reality that kids can be conformist and cruel as hell to anyone who is different.

              1. But educators want to *change* human nature, or at least guide it so the students become more like their tolerant teachers and less like their knuckle-dragging, racist, ablist, troglodite parents.

      2. Fuck vouchers and subsidies. I pay out the nose on fucking property tax to get good schools. That’s effectively my user fee. If you’re not ponying up some kind of skin in the game, you don’t get the good stuff.

        1. I would close those schools and take all of that property tax money and give it to people in the form of vouchers.

          You are never going to end education spending in this country. People love it too much. It makes them feel good. But you can at least administer it in such a way that people have the ability to use it in ways that make the most sense. And vouchers are the way to do that.

          1. Close what schools?

            Vouchers are nothing more than transfer payments from rich and middle-class to the poor of the worst kind.

            1. The public schools. And sure they are a transfer payment. But so is your property taxes.

              And yes, people love spending money on education for poor people. It is an American vice. You are not going to win that debate. The best you can do is have vouchers so the money does some good as opposed to creating a jobs program for ed majors.

              You can scream “fuck the poor no more education for them” all you like. But no one is going to listen. So you might want to think about adopting a least bad option.

              1. The “least bad” option is leave my good schools that I pay for alone.

                You’re never, ever going to get a voucher system in place, because it necessarily involves taking money directly from my community and giving it to someone across town who did nothing to earn it.

            2. What is that even supposed to mean?

              Either we have a free and public education, or we don’t. If we do, then we need to make sure that we provide the very best education possible to every kid. Growing up in a trailer park shouldn’t bar someone from having the opportunity to make something of themselves. Creating such artificial barriers to socio-economic advancement is how ideas like Marxism gain social legitimacy.

              The existing model of education is fundamentally broken. There are no incentives for teachers and the schools they work for to do a good job. Instead there is a perverse incentive to constantly beg for more money from the public to deliver the same sub-par product. The political and economic distortions created by teacher’s unions need no explanation.

              The only model of public education that has any chance of working is a public/private partnership in the form of multiple charter schools which must compete for public dollars as represented by students.

          2. But, education does not have to be paid for by property tax.

      3. The cost of an excellent education in DC area via private , is about the same. Not including Catholic which can run a bit lower.
        In Belgium, there is a choice. The parents go shopping with their voucher. The public schools are outstanding as they must compete. With Americans always so envious of Europe, you would think they would embrace this European method. Maybe its not so much about what is better for the students, but perhaps its about the employment of teachers, admin, etc… The kids get the short end of the stick.

        1. They are unaware, and when you point out that the vaunted socialist countries have school choice and merit based pay they shut up.

          1. They shut up around you – they chatter even louder when no one aware of the facts is present.

    2. In short Alice, parents with disabled kids would benefit the most from vouchers. It would allow them to send their kids to specialized schools that catered to their children’s needs. Normal or average kids would benefit the least since they already are being catered to in public schools. It is the exceptional kids top and bottom who would benefit the most from vouchers.

      In the end, public school advocates are forcing parents to send their handicapped kids to schools that can’t serve them.

      1. Normal or average kids would benefit the least since they already are being catered to in public schools.

        Not so much around here. The kids in the middle are taking the hit. The resources go to the special needs and the exceptional. The average kids are getting taught the test and pushed out the door.

        1. Maybe so. So everyone would benefit. Gee, maybe it is a bad idea to throw kids of every ability into the same class?

    3. Re: Alice Bowie,

      We will always have a two tier for things like healthcare and education.

      Until the Revolution comes, that is.

      The wealthy will always pick the premium service for these two.

      I would, too, if I were wealthy. Only an idiot would subject his kids to the worst of the worst out of pure ideology.

      Matt Damon is pushing for a better public school system.

      Which is doomed to failure by its very nature. Like pushing on a string.

      The problem with an all private school system is that special education would be far too expensive for a family to afford.

      Wow! Give the expert in affordability and market prices a cigar!

      “Far too expensive” is the usual question-begging reply given by the economically-illiterate. Don’t feel bad – you’re in good company.

      “What do you do with blind kids ?”, for example.

      You eat them with fava beans and a nice Chianti, of course!

      As libertarians are not for government mandates, parents in the lower class would probably pick the cheapest[…] or not send their kids to school at all.

      Kids are already not sending themselves to school as it is, EVEN with the mandates.

      If you want a modern day example, look at Mexico.

      What about Mexico, you lying bag of shit?

      1. +1 Sevo

  22. Do the teachers in Damon’s kid’s private school belong to the teacher’s union? If so, Does this school have the same constraints in hiring and firing teachers as the public schools?

  23. I guess he wants his kids to go to school in Elysium.

  24. She’d never even read a magazine like Vanity Fair before, her son explains. “She’s a professor. If it’s not the Nation, she doesn’t read it. And she said, ‘This thing is nothing but page after page of adverts for products that nobody needs!'”

    Nothing exemplifies intellectual prowess like willful ignorance. Bonus points for being so cocksure about what other people’s needs are.

  25. “Damon said he wanted his kids to have ‘that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system.'”

    Damon is a far left whacko, borderline red diaper baby. His next door neighbor was HOWARD ZINN.

    That he thinks public schools aren’t sufficiently corrupted with “progressive” ideology tells us everything we need to know.

  26. This is very common for those with the means, celebrities and politicians, I don’t blame them and if they truly had a choice this would not be a discussion, however they do not. The private schools are more equipped to handle the needs of certain families. It truly is unfortunate that all schools are not as viable.

    We moved from downtown San Diego which had a SAT 9 score of 168 to an area in Encinitas, CA with a SAT 9 score of 920. Being of hispanic, I was insulted to see the downtown school teaching english one day and spanish the next. I asked the school, if they were interested in everyone doing poorly to give the illusion they cared? It benefitted no one. The spanish speaking kids who already knew spanish from their parents, did not seem to do better in this coddling environment. Inadvertently through their “caring” they were destroying the possibility of a good education as seen through their test scores. Gone are the days of forcing kids to learn cold turkey. Now we must nurture them as if they don’t have the capacity to learn. The increase in student drop out amongst spanish speakers has increased ten fold. NO one apologizes for their caring or the results the caring has caused. I don’t blame Matt Damon, I applaud him and it makes a stronger argument for choice

    1. I don’t blame Matt Damon

      Not even for being a hypocrite?


  28. So, uh, my question is, why the fuck did he tell the whole fucking world through a newspaper that he’s sending his precious snowflakes to a private school?

    Did he seriously think any sentient person wouldn’t see him as the hypocritical dipshit he is for doing so regardless of his protestations of the “lack” of “progressiveness” in the LAUSD?

    Why even mention it? It’s terribly unlikely that most people would even care (or ever find out) that his kids were enrolled at a private school if he had kept his suck shut.

    1. Because it scores points with a certain crowd – “Aw, he means well! It’s so sad that he can’t send his kids to public school….”

  29. Ahhhh…hypocrisy, thy name is liberal.

  30. Just lost a few brain cells watching that video. It’s like they live in some fantasyland. I take it those teachers don’t teach their students the concept of critical thinking.

    1. Just lost a few brain cells watching that video.

      I started to drool, but only because of the reporter.

      1. She certainly makes it watchable!!

  31. So I assume he’s trying to weasel out of looking like a hypocrite by acting like since the schools aren’t being saved they are unworthy of his children…but they COULD be if we would all just do more?

  32. If his kids are as dumb as he sounds in serious interviews, it won’t matter where they go.

    1. Indeed. The people who need to know that he is an idiot are too stupid to learn the truth anyway.

      He is simply another symptom of how fucked we are in this place.

  33. Ignorance is bliss Matt.

    Especially when you have the propaganda ministry at your disposal and you can snort coke off super models’ asses.

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