Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How do you like them apples? Matt Damon supports private education

Nearly two years ago to the date, Matt Damon flew into Washington, D.C. to speak at a “Save our Schools” rally. The groups who comprise “Save our Schools” are a who’s who of education organizations who have opposed every single reform over the past 30 years. The rally was against the education reforms underway in Washington, D.C. to help fix one of the nation’s most broken school districts. At the rally, Damon was the champion of public schools and skewered the “corporate reformer[s] who literally never taught anyone anything…” 

As the former chairman of the Education, Libraries and Recreation Committee on the Washington, D.C. City Council, I am one of those reformers. I was an early advocate – and remain an advocate – for common sense reforms, including empowering low-income families to choose the school that best fits their child’s needs just like their higher-income neighbors.  

Hypocrisy? Not according to Damon: "Sending our kids in my family to private school was a big, big, big deal. And it was a giant family discussion.”

That sounds like a conversation many families have when discussing whether their children should attend public or private schools.

As for the reason Damon ultimately chose private education, “It was a circular conversation, really, because ultimately we don't have a choice.” 

No choice? Seriously?   

Matt Damon is happy to fly into Washington, D.C. to chastise education reforms and reformers, including the Opportunity Scholarship Program that allows children from low-income families to attend the school of the parents’ choice and has a 94 percent graduation rate. But, when it comes to Matt Damon’s own family, he claims he didn’t have a choice.  

This is the sad reality of the anti-education reform crowd. Public schools – whether they’re successful or not – are fine for everyone else’s kids, but not for the privileged. President Obama, who also opposes D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, sends his children to the most elite private school in all of D.C.  And you know what?  Good for Mr. Damon and the President. Their families made a choice so why deny low-income families the same opportunity to make a choice? 

In 2013, we need to stop looking at education as if this were the 1900’s. Giving parents educational choice is a necessity and a quality education for every child, regardless of their family’s income, should be a national imperative.  Educational choice is becoming a reality for more and more children as Democrats and Republicans come together across the country to expand options and empower parents to choose the best education for their child. I challenge Matt Damon to join me in supporting educational choice so low-income families can have the same family discussion and the same educational options as his family.

Kevin P. Chavous
Executive Counsel
American Federation for Children


Kevin is Democrat and former member of the Washington D.C. city council.

1 comment:

  1. Well that was a great things to know for this important matters regarding private school education. That only shows a good examples for every individual students to have competent form of learning as individuals.

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