The Washington Post

President Obama, Matt Damon and America’s teachers

You may have missed it but President Obama took a verbal shot at actor Matt Damon during his very funny, sharply worded comic address to the White House Correspondents dinner over the weekend.

What does this have to do with education? Read on.

Damon, during a March interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, said he was “disappointed” with Obama’s presidency for a number of reasons, including this one:

“He’s doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education ... the idea that we’re testing kids and we’re tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We’re training them, not teaching them.”

Damon’s got that right.

Last Saturday night, Obama, who targeted a number of his critics in his speech, said this in mocking response to Damon’s “disappointed” remark:

“I’ve even let down my key core constituency: movie stars. Just the other day, Matt Damon -- I love Matt Damon, love the guy -- Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. Well, Matt, I just saw ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ so...right back atcha, buddy.”

Meanwhile, Damon, whose mother is a college professor in Massachusetts, has now signed on as one of the dozens of endorsers of the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action scheduled for July 30 in Washington, which is being organized by public school teachers, parents and education activists who oppose the corporate-driven school reforms championed by the Obama and Bush administrations.

Follow The Answer Sheet every day by bookmarking And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our Higher Education page. Bookmark it!

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.


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