Tag Archives: Matt Damon

Matt Damon Loves Teachers (via Chicago Teachers Union) – YouTube

19 Aug

On January 31, 2012 Matt Damon came to Chicago to perform a Howard Zinn piece as part of “The People Speak Live” . Before the show, Damon spoke with Chicago Teachers Union members Drew Heiserman and Kenzo Shibata about education, standardized testing, and the People’s History of the United States.

via Matt Damon Loves Teachers (via Chicago Teachers Union) – YouTube.


American Teacher: Official Trailer

27 Mar

AMERICAN TEACHER is the feature-length documentary produced and directed by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth; produced by Nínive Calegari, co-founder of the literacy non-profit 826 National, and best-selling author Dave Eggers; and narrated by Academy Award-winner Matt Damon.

AMERICAN TEACHER chronicles the stories of four teachers – Erik Benner, Jonathan Dearman, Jamie Fidler, and Rhena Jasey – who live and work in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, the film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today. The film shows us the experience of these four young teachers as they recognize the importance of what they do, and how much they love what they do, but ask: can I afford to continue to teach?


Matt Damon’s mother is wrong – Class Struggle – The Washington Post

16 Jan

Almost all of us say that as a nation we should work out our differences and unite to solve our problems. But we don’t mean it.

Exhibit A is the bad blood between the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher union, and Teach for America, the most popular public-service option for graduates of selective colleges.

The NEA has been at odds with TFA since the teacher-recruitment program began. NEA leaders dislike the idea, conceived in 1989 by then 22-year-old Princeton undergraduate Wendy Kopp, of giving young people selected for academic achievement and ambition just five weeks of summer training before having them teach in some of our lowest-performing urban and rural public schools. TFA’s steady growth and rising status at prestigious universities has not soothed NEA’s distress. Continue reading

Matt Damon, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Decline NEA Education Award Nomination Over USA Today Op-Ed

5 Jan

Matt Damon and his mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, have declined a nomination for the Friend of Education award from the National Education Association’s Massachusetts arm — because of the NEA’s collaboration with Teach For America on a USA Today op-ed.

In a letter Wednesday to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University, says that she and Damon had originally planned to accept the nomination when they discussed the possibility over the summer.

But in December, Van Roekel and TFA Founder and CEO Wendy Kopp co-authored a piece in USA Today on how to improve America’s teachers.

“I have decided that because of your collaboration with TFA, it would not be wise for me or for Matt to be nominated for the Friend of Education Award,” Carlsson-Paige writes in her letter. “I regret this turn of events.” Continue reading

Has the NEA warmed up to Teach for America? – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

5 Jan

There is a growing backlash against National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel’s recent collaborations with Teach for America leader Wendy Kopp on the issue of teacher preparation.

Some NEA members have written on blogs that they are furious at Van Roekel, and early childhood expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige just declined an opportunity for her and her son, actor and activist Matt Damon, to be nominated for the Friend of Education Award from the NEA.Damon spoke last year at the Save Our Schools rally in Washington held to protest the Obama administration education policies; Carlsson-Paige is a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University in Boston. They agreed a few months ago to be nominated for the award from the NEA, the country’s largest labor union and professional organization. But Carlsson-Paige just sent a letter to Van Roekel telling him she and Damon would decline any nomination because of concern over his collaboration with Kopp.

The NEA and the American Federation of Teachers, which combined have more than 4 million members, have long opposed the 20-year-old Teach for America. TFA recruits newly minted college graduates who are not education majors and gives them five weeks of summer training before placing them in classrooms in high-poverty schools. Recruits are asked to commit to only two years of teaching. The unions have argued that the country’s neediest students need highly trained teachers committed to the profession. Continue reading

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