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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Matt Damon on Teachers (his mom is one) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-04 22:32, landmark wrote:
We don't need to subsidize private school, we need to subsidize public schools properly. Then the perceived advantages of private schools would be greatly reduced--except for the one that keeps it as an outpost for the rich.


As with most things, much of the advantage lies in choice. Reducing the availability of private schools to the economically disadvantaged is for the benefit of public school employees, not students.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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1) The voucher scheme that you outlined above is not to the advantage of at least 40% of families who make less than $37,000/yr. And that 40% probably has a higher percentage of families that go to public school than the next 60%.

2) If you really value students as you say, and are not just trying to save some of your tax dollars, then you would have no problem asking that the govt provide incentives for all students to have the best schools and teachers. Are you for funding the full educational costs by need for each student?
rockwall
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On 2011-08-04 07:44, landmark wrote:
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On 2011-08-02 21:04, rockwall wrote:

And still your solution is to reward them all equally.

Damon's point is not that teachers should not get incentives, but most people infused with the MBA style "Market is God" thinking, such as the reporter questioning him, have no idea what teachers see as incentives.

Try a little experiment with your wife tonight as you lay in bed together. Ask her if she (and the teachers she knows) would do a better job with:

A) a $10,000/yr merit raise;
or
B) a class size cut by 10 students per class across the board.

I hope you ask her, and share the results.


OK, I had to wait until about 11pm since you wanted me to ask while we lay in bed together. Smile

Anyway, her response? "You kidding? I'll take the 10 grand!"

Now please let me know what that proves.

But before you say something stupid, let me tell you what my wife is doing this week. This week she is running a Sports Camp for the Blind which is put on by her non-profit foundation. Before it started, she handled about 80% of the planning and organization for it. Finding a school to run it at, locating volunteers to teach various sports, arranging a hotel for staff and kids, finding resteraunts to eat at, etc, etc. Starting on Sunday, she leaves for the camp at around 7 in the morning and generally gets back home at 10:30 at night. She does that until tonight where their last activity is at an indoor rock climbing gym that they spend the entire night at. While most of the kids will last until 2 or 3am, my wife will stay up all night to make sure no kids try and 'hook up'.

What does she get paid for all this work? 0, zilch, nada. She's been doing this since 2003 and it's just 'one' of the programs she takes part in during her summer 'off'.
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/no......91f.html
landmark
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Really super, all props to your wife. Great article.

Your wife's excellent work only confirms that money is not her prime motivator, which was my point and Damon's point. Of course we all want to be paid well for the work we do. But for many who go into teaching that is not the prime motivation, and your wife is a wonderful case in point.

And Rock, I hoped you asked the question the way I asked it--not which she would like better, but which would be an better incentive to help her to be a better teacher. (Yes, you'll have to get into bed with her yet again.)
thorndyke
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I find it strange how many teachers have had a positive impact on my life without my having been in their classes. There was a retired teacher who was married to one of the members in the local magic club. Although seriously ill, she managed to attend a magic club banquet and I went to talk with her. I could barely hear her speak when she asked me how I was doing. I told her I had enrolled in a locksmithing course and she suddenly surged with energy and started asking questions about it. To this retired teacher, somebody wanting to learn was an elixir and for that brief moment she was not ill. How could I not complete the course after that inspirational moment?
I have more than enough brutal incidents I could relate of the rotten teachers who littered my school years, and I know there are people out there who could top them, but I will unbend enough to point out the ones that deserve the accolades and how I wish there had been more of them in my school life.
stoneunhinged
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Thorndyke, I think you've hit the proverbial nail on the head.

How many of us have ever complained about teachers? Probably every single one of us, without exception.

Now, how many of us have had our lives touched by teachers? Probably most of us.

And how many of us have had our lives touched (positively) by doctors or lawyers or magicians or musicians or carpenters or soccer players or whatever?

It's strange to think about: teachers have a disproportionate impact on our lives, I think.

That's not why I wanted to be one, however. I became a teacher because I couldn't hit a curve ball. *sigh*
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-05 07:16, landmark wrote:
1) The voucher scheme that you outlined above is not to the advantage of at least 40% of families who make less than $37,000/yr. And that 40% probably has a higher percentage of families that go to public school than the next 60%.

2) If you really value students as you say, and are not just trying to save some of your tax dollars, then you would have no problem asking that the govt provide incentives for all students to have the best schools and teachers. Are you for funding the full educational costs by need for each student?


I'm certainly not trying to save any of my tax dollars, as I don't have, nor do I plan to have, children. If you really value students as you say, and not just union strength, then you would have no problem with helping make alternatives to public school feasible. How are we defining the 'full educational costs by need'?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-05 12:00, stoneunhinged wrote:
That's not why I wanted to be one, however. I became a teacher because I couldn't hit a curve ball. *sigh*


Same reason George Clooney became an actor.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
stoneunhinged
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On 2011-08-05 12:22, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 12:00, stoneunhinged wrote:
That's not why I wanted to be one, however. I became a teacher because I couldn't hit a curve ball. *sigh*


Same reason George Clooney became an actor.


Well, maybe I still have a shot at being the "sexiest man alive" after all.
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 12:19, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 07:16, landmark wrote:
1) The voucher scheme that you outlined above is not to the advantage of at least 40% of families who make less than $37,000/yr. And that 40% probably has a higher percentage of families that go to public school than the next 60%.

2) If you really value students as you say, and are not just trying to save some of your tax dollars, then you would have no problem asking that the govt provide incentives for all students to have the best schools and teachers. Are you for funding the full educational costs by need for each student?




I'm certainly not trying to save any of my tax dollars, as I don't have, nor do I plan to have, children. If you really value students as you say, and not just union strength, then you would have no problem with helping make alternatives to public school feasible. How are we defining the 'full educational costs by need'?

All the more reason you'd want to avoid paying taxes for something that you don't plan to use personally. Perhaps you'd feel differently otherwise. Not saying that's the case, just saying that your comment about not having children doesn't strengthen your argument.

Given a purely public school system, the question about economic need becomes moot--it's then a matter of funding the system properly.

With a private school option, the government pays the cost of the private education. Yes, that's expensive, but you insist on private choice. That would be a true voucher system.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 12:54, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 12:19, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 07:16, landmark wrote:
1) The voucher scheme that you outlined above is not to the advantage of at least 40% of families who make less than $37,000/yr. And that 40% probably has a higher percentage of families that go to public school than the next 60%.

2) If you really value students as you say, and are not just trying to save some of your tax dollars, then you would have no problem asking that the govt provide incentives for all students to have the best schools and teachers. Are you for funding the full educational costs by need for each student?




I'm certainly not trying to save any of my tax dollars, as I don't have, nor do I plan to have, children. If you really value students as you say, and not just union strength, then you would have no problem with helping make alternatives to public school feasible. How are we defining the 'full educational costs by need'?

All the more reason you'd want to avoid paying taxes for something that you don't plan to use personally. Perhaps you'd feel differently otherwise. Not saying that's the case, just saying that your comment about not having children doesn't strengthen your argument.

Given a purely public school system, the question about economic need becomes moot--it's then a matter of funding the system properly.

With a private school option, the government pays the cost of the private education. Yes, that's expensive, but you insist on private choice. That would be a true voucher system.


I tthink I must be misunderstanding your point. Giving tax credits to people who send their children to private schools, which is all I'm talking about, wouldn't reduce my tax liability at all.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Magnus Eisengrim
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Much of the debate is political rather than educational. If the goal is to provide quality education (somehow defined) to students (hopefully all of them, but not everyone agrees on that point) then the question should be: how can we do this reliably and efficiently.

We should not start with: I believe in public education, let's fit kids into it. or I believe in voucher systems, let's have one.

If anyone is interested, yesterday's OECD publication PISA in Focus (PISA is the Program of International Student Assessment) looks at issues around public/private delivery of education.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-05 13:41, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Much of the debate is political rather than educational. If the goal is to provide quality education (somehow defined) to students (hopefully all of them, but not everyone agrees on that point) then the question should be: how can we do this reliably and efficiently.

We should not start with: I believe in public education, let's fit kids into it. or I believe in voucher systems, let's have one.

If anyone is interested, yesterday's OECD publication PISA in Focus (PISA is the Program of International Student Assessment) looks at issues around public/private delivery of education.

John


I don't know that anyone starts with "I believe in voucher systems." That seems to be a secondary position that is driven by another priority or set of priorities. In my case, that priority is the availability of educational options.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Magnus Eisengrim
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I don't know that anyone starts with "I believe in voucher systems." That seems to be a secondary position that is driven by another priority or set of priorities. In my case, that priority is the availability of educational options.


So why do you support voucher systems? There are public systems that provide a wide array of options. I've mentioned this before, but the public system in Edmonton offers bilingual programs in 7 languages, comprehensive French Immersion, and 10 other language options. You can attend schools immersed in Christianity, Judaism or Islam. There are academic alternatives, sports academies, fine arts schools, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Aboriginal programs. And probably quite a few more that happen not to be at my fingertips at the moment.

Choice does not appear to be the sole domain of privatization.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
rockwall
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I'm pretty sure you could never have a public school option that had courses immersed in Christianity, Judaism or Islam in the US.

I'll be the first to admit that the desire to have private options is at least partially based on the belief that the unionization of the public school system in the US has almost hopelessly ruined the ability of a public school to effectively compete with a private school in terms of providing a quality education. I also strongly agree that there are a number of other non-union issues that have done the same thing, some of which Stone pointed out.

I don't believe that money is the overriding factor in the demise of the quality of public education. There are any number of examples of huge amounts of new money being spent on public school systems with NO improvement in education and even demonstratable decreases in many cases.

Obviously, we should be able to do better. I'm all for learning from what other countries have done and trying new things. Unfortunately, it's hard to try new things when you have an organization as powerful as the public school unions fighting you every step of the way because of their fear of losing power.
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On 2011-08-05 14:15, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:

I don't know that anyone starts with "I believe in voucher systems." That seems to be a secondary position that is driven by another priority or set of priorities. In my case, that priority is the availability of educational options.


So why do you support voucher systems? There are public systems that provide a wide array of options. I've mentioned this before, but the public system in Edmonton offers bilingual programs in 7 languages, comprehensive French Immersion, and 10 other language options. You can attend schools immersed in Christianity, Judaism or Islam. There are academic alternatives, sports academies, fine arts schools, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Aboriginal programs. And probably quite a few more that happen not to be at my fingertips at the moment.

Choice does not appear to be the sole domain of privatization.

John


Must be a Canadian thing.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
rockwall
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It's too bad Screen Actors don't have the same kind of union rules that teachers have. Then Matt would only get paid the same amount that others with his number of years experience would get paid. Not that he would mind, he does it for the love of acting anyway. Since we realize that no one is a great actor overnight and real quality only comes with years in the business, actors for the latest block busters would probably be based on seniority. The next Bourne Experience would probably star Dolph Lundgren.

Come on guys, you too can contribute. What other rules would the movie studios follow if this were the case?
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-05 15:47, rockwall wrote:
It's too bad Screen Actors don't have the same kind of union rules that teachers have. Then Matt would only get paid the same amount that others with his number of years experience would get paid. Not that he would mind, he does it for the love of acting anyway. Since we realize that no one is a great actor overnight and real quality only comes with years in the business, actors for the latest block busters would probably be based on seniority. The next Bourne Experience would probably star Dolph Lundgren.

Come on guys, you too can contribute. What other rules would the movie studios follow if this were the case?


This is a classic post, and should be reproduced on any website publicizing Damon's comments.

I'd also add that there's really no accurate way to measure acting performance, anyway, so any attempt to qualitatively differentiate between actors would only be polluted by bias and politics.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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On 2011-08-05 14:55, rockwall wrote:
I'm pretty sure you could never have a public school option that had courses immersed in Christianity, Judaism or Islam in the US.

I'll be the first to admit that the desire to have private options is at least partially based on the belief that the unionization of the public school system in the US has almost hopelessly ruined the ability of a public school to effectively compete with a private school in terms of providing a quality education. I also strongly agree that there are a number of other non-union issues that have done the same thing, some of which Stone pointed out.

I don't believe that money is the overriding factor in the demise of the quality of public education. There are any number of examples of huge amounts of new money being spent on public school systems with NO improvement in education and even demonstratable decreases in many cases.

Obviously, we should be able to do better. I'm all for learning from what other countries have done and trying new things. Unfortunately, it's hard to try new things when you have an organization as powerful as the public school unions fighting you every step of the way because of their fear of losing power.

This really is just political demagoguery at this point. You can look state by state, or country by country, and there's absolutely nothing that says that unionization of teachers correlates with bad school systems.

As for learning from other countries, at least in NYC, the unions have been in the forefront of learning from other countries which typically have many more professional supports for teachers than the US. I'm not going to go through the literature, it's been mentioned here many times, Japan, Canada, Finland. Reiterating anti-union beliefs doesn't make them true.

And of course putting money into education without thought of what the money is for, is demonstrably stupid and wasteful. Millions are wasted on testing schemes that make money for the large publishers and do nothing but take away class time and resources.
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 16:02, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 15:47, rockwall wrote:
It's too bad Screen Actors don't have the same kind of union rules that teachers have. Then Matt would only get paid the same amount that others with his number of years experience would get paid. Not that he would mind, he does it for the love of acting anyway. Since we realize that no one is a great actor overnight and real quality only comes with years in the business, actors for the latest block busters would probably be based on seniority. The next Bourne Experience would probably star Dolph Lundgren.

Come on guys, you too can contribute. What other rules would the movie studios follow if this were the case?


This is a classic post, and should be reproduced on any website publicizing Damon's comments.

I'd also add that there's really no accurate way to measure acting performance, anyway, so any attempt to qualitatively differentiate between actors would only be polluted by bias and politics.

Agreed. All actors should be evaluated by the results of a standardized test that audiences take measuring the quality of their emotional responses and capacity for empathy. Any actor who does not sufficiently improve his/her audience's capacity for empathy by at least 15% a year, to rise to 100% proficiency by the year 2016 should be fired.
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