The Lookout

Actor Matt Damon defends teacher tenure in testy exchange

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

Actor Matt Damon got into a tense exchange with a journalist from the libertarian Reason TV site after she asked him whether teachers with tenure would lack incentive to work hard at their jobs.

The journalist argued that Damon has an incentive to work hard as an actor because he lacks job security, while teachers do not.

"You think job insecurity makes me work hard?" the actor asked in disbelief. "A teacher wants to teach. Why else would you take a sh*tty salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?"

Damon was speaking at Sunday's Save Our Schools rally, where thousands of teachers and educators descended on Washington D.C. to protest the Obama administration's education policies. The rally wasn't organized by either of the major teachers' unions, according to the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss, but was a grassroots protest against the focus on standardized testing, No Child Left Behind, and what protesters say is the scapegoating of teachers for problems such as childhood poverty.

Damon was asked by his mother, a child development expert, to speak at the rally. You can read his speech here.

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