Lawrence O'Donnell had nothing but praise for actor Matt Damon who came out over the weekend to support teachers during the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action in Washington D.C. Apparently Damon's mother is a school teacher and when confronted by some wingnut libertarian reporter from Reason.tv, Damon hit back at her pretty hard with her assumptions that teachers only care about tenure and job security, rather than being the underpaid civil servants that the majority of them are that put up with what they do because they really do love their jobs and care about educating kids.
O'Donnell: That's how crazy the attacks on teachers has become.
Damon had some harsh words for what has become of our public school system these days where test scores are held above any care that curriculum is based on being able to be flexible enough to make sure that the children in any given class are actually given a well rounded education to where they're actually learning something besides just being able to pass some standardized test.
Lawrence O'Donnell also had something to add with his personal experiences on the topic and pointed out that the real reason that conservatives are attacking teachers' unions and our public education system has a lot more to do with politics than any real concern for whether students in America are actually getting a decent education.
It's about busting unions and taking away any political power from Democrats since anyone who is a teacher obviously has no reason to support the Republican Party when they'd prefer our educators were working for minimum wage with no bargaining rights and no benefits if they had their way, or at least letting those more "productive" teachers who are younger come in and take the place of someone who's been teaching twenty or thirty years plus and getting rid of that burdensome teacher who might be costing the tax payers too much by actually having their pension obligations honored that they bargained for.
It's a sorry state of affairs in this country when we've got one political party that cares more about busting unions than educating our children but sadly, our education system is not the only one you can make that point on when it comes to what the GOP has in mind for the future of our country and whether there are any companies or workforces left that are still unionized. They'd prefer workers having no voice and a race to the bottom with third world countries -- and heaven forbid anyone pushes back against that and wants to retain a middle class in America.
The HuffPo has more on Damon's appearance over the weekend -- Matt Damon Defends Teachers Against 'Sh***y' Reason.tv Cameraman (VIDEO) :
Following his keynote address, the actor took offense to a Reason.tv reporter who contended that, as opposed to the environment faced by teachers in a tenure system, the lack of job security in acting functions as an incentive for hard work.
Here's what Damon had to say:
So you think job insecurity is what makes me work hard? I want to be an actor. That’s not an incentive. That’s the thing. See, you take this MBA-style thinking, right? It’s the problem with ed policy right now, this intrinsically paternalistic view of problems that are much more complex than that. It’s like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they have tenure. A teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a shitty salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?
Good for Matt Damon and thank you for speaking out.
Damon: Maybe you're a shitty cameraman.