Matt Damon has been all over the media circuit these past few weeks to promote his latest film, Elysium. But somewhere in between the entertainment banter, Mr. Damon confessed that he is sending his children to private school rather than a traditional public school, citing an absence of progressive education in Los Angeles.
But rather than criticize what Damon has decided as a concerned parent, we should take this opportunity to focus on the bigger picture of the conversation. Parents want the best for their kids and while many parents have the option to decide which school will work for their children, many others do not share that same luxury. This ambiguity facing parents at the start of the new school year creates uneasiness about what their kids will be learning inside the classroom. But there is a way to quell those fears.
Similar to Damon, every parent wants to provide their children with the greatest education possible, and this can be accomplished without employing Will Hunting to put together an advanced mathematic equation. With great teachers in front of the classroom, and an empowered support group of administrators and district policymakers, we can ensure that we will strike a balance of our top priorities and equip parents with the necessary tools to find the school that can best fit their child's needs.
Regardless of a parent's preferences, highly effective teachers are ultimately going to make the biggest difference in a child's life at school. A child who is the first in his or her family to graduate from high school as a result of great teachers may not be the progressive education approach as Mr. Damon defines it, but it is certainly progress in the right direction.