I always love when celebrities make speeches for a good cause. It really help humanize them for me. So often we think of the Hollywood stars are unreachable Gods that look down on us and wave. We fawn and faint in their mere presence because we’ve glorified them in our eyes to an unfair perfection, so whenever they do anything human or imperfect we erupt in contempt. I, however, love when a celeb voices his or her opinion about different issues. I may not agree with what they’re saying, but the fact that they can come out of their glamor-filled bubble to ruffle a few feathers is liberating. So right now I want to show some love for Matt Damon.
Damon gave a speech today for thousands of teachers, parents and others who attended the Save Our Schools march near the White House to protest the Obama administration’s education policies centered on tying teachers’ performance to their students’ standardized tests scores. The actor spoke to the crowd saying that his mother was a teacher and that the experience gave him a great respect for the entire public school education system. Damon continues saying, “As I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my curiosity — all come from how I was parented and taught.” He goes on to make his point claiming, “And none of these qualities that I’ve just mentioned…none of these qualities that make me who I am … can be tested.”
His speech is both powerful and to the point, saying that it’s ridiculous to expect to just drill facts and knowledge into childrens’ heads with test after test after test. Learning is supposed to be an active experience in which a teacher’s priority is to help children learn, not have them get a certain score on a test so they can get the proper benefits they want. The Bourne Identity star eloquently states, “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.”
The rest of his speech follows the same sort of idea and gives a shout-out to all teachers saying that they are appreciated by him and many others today. Damon ends his speech declaring, “We love you, we thank you and we will always have your back.” Man, these actors really know how to say a line — I love it! Way to go Matt! Every voice makes a difference.
Source: Washington Post