Look out for the Matt Damons of the world. You see them everywhere advocating for public schools, while they themselves do not utilize the very same schools that they think are good enough for your kids but not theirs.
This was the case recently with Matt Damon. He was the face and narrator of a documentary in favor of traditional schools and not charter schools. You may remember that documentary, “Backpack Full of Cash,” about the privatization of schools and how terrible it is and how we need to stop these charter schools and stand up for our public schools. Except Damon left out one tiny thing—his kids were enrolled in a private school at time.
This is not an anomaly. There is a long list of hypocrites preaching the same hypocritical message.
Just Look at the Statehouse
Here in California, we don’t need to look much further than the state capital building. There you will find a long list of legislators who want to tell you how you should educate your kids and where—even though many of them have sent their children to a wide variety of the school options available in our state. Some send their children to private/parochial schools, which require paying tuition.
And, by the way, this model is true “privatization” because they are funded through private dollars and have their own regulations and guidelines for admission, in addition to hefty tuitions. In most cases, they do not have the capacity to admit English-learners or students with disabilities. Nevertheless, it is a choice. Parents can opt to send their kids to these schools rather than their local neighborhood school.
And then there is that person that sends his/her own children to charter schools but is working to end that option for you and I, based on the support they have received from local teacher unions and the largest special interest lobbying group in California, the California Teachers Association (CTA).
The issue is so heated that it prompted a town hall discussion led by journalist and author Roland Martin last month. The purpose of the town hall was to discuss the impact of several proposed anti-charter school bills that would directly affect the 52,800 African-American students who currently attend and thrive in charter schools across California.
Among the bills discussed is SB 756, introduced by Sen. María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles). Durazo herself is in the Matt Damon category of school choice hypocrites, as the parent of private school-educated children. She’s a champion for public schools who did not trust her own children in those schools. The hypocrisy is astounding. We should not allow these people to make decisions about our kids and their education.
If you are not sure what school choice is exactly, you are not alone. Apparently, there are a lot of legislators that are equally confused but still want to limit your choices. Here is an information page on what school choice is and the types of schools or schooling that are included in the term.
In 2013, a study showed that even public school teachers are two times more likely to send their own kids to private schools. So, what are we trying to preserve here? Student outcomes and learning—or paychecks for the adults?
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