Reposted with permission from SoCalMom.net.

CC License Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, Nicolas Genin

CC License Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, Nicolas Genin

Dear Matt Damon:

It has come to my attention that you and your family are moving to Los Angeles. As a lifelong Angeleno (with Massachusetts roots), I want to welcome you to our complicated city. Our diversity, energy and culture are equal to what you’re used to in New York — you just have to look a little harder and travel a little longer to find it.

Rest assured that LA residents are used to seeing celebrities in our midst, especially in the sort of neighborhood in which you are likely to settle. Locals understand the etiquette: pretend to ignore the famous face, no matter how excited you are to see it. The only problem with this is that it sometimes takes a few moments to realize that the guy you see in the supermarket looks familiar only because you saw him on TV — but I am certain this is also the case in the community you’ve been living in up until now. I’m pretty certain you’ll find that the baristas at your new Malibu or Beverly Hills Starbucks will be just as friendly and normal as the ones in New York.

The one thing I would like to clear up is your misconception about public schools here. I cannot deny that the Los Angeles Unified School District is a dysfunctional behemoth, subject to the worst kind of publicity in the nation, and that the quality of the 800-some schools in the district varies wildly (with those in low-income communities tending to fare far worse). I am hopeful that new funding approved by voters in the last election will help solve some of the inequities.

Believe me, had I enjoyed the kind of income that would have allowed it, I probably would have sent my own child to an excellent private school, as you have decided to do. But now that my daughter is entering her senior year at public high school, I am really glad I wasn’t able to go that route. Because I think it would have been a mistake.

You see, your reasoning — that the public schools in Los Angeles could not offer the same progressive education you enjoyed growing up — is false.

Read the full post that highlights gems of the Los Angeles Unified school system here.

 

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2 Comments

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  1. […] MUST READ: An Open Letter to Matt Damon: Yes, Your Kids CAN Get a Damned Fine Progressive Education … […]

  2. Rene Diedrich 6 years ago

    This open letter is confusing to me but I kinda get the writer’s inabilility to accurately articulate what he feels to Matt Damon. Matt Damon is not some elitist limo riding liberal bashing our schools as he bats his baby blues. His mom is a teacher and he had been an advocate for public education for a few years, and let’s face it , it sure ain’t the kind of cause that makes one a hero in everybody’s eyes. But hero is a pretty apt description of this guy.
    I suspect his kids DID attend public schools until he moved his family to LA. It is interesting how his mention of progressive schools inspired Supt. Deasy to mock Damon about politics and offer to help the actor and his wife find a school in pretty much the same breath. What a lawless hypocrite!
    Progressive is an adjective Deasy bats about quite a bit. But a progressive school is not trending. It is an apolitical approach to eduction. You know, free of testing impositions, common cores and other corporate flavored bs that kills critical thinking and creativity to shower favor on test takers’ prowess. You’d think Deasy would be hipper than this. Nevertheless, I bet his pal, Arne Duncan was a very able bodied test taker, yes indeedy.
    But what does that hedge fund hog know about the real world?
    Nothing next to Matt Damon.
    Damon, no matter what you may think of him, has at least been able to galvanize some conversations about what is going on in education this month. What we should ask ourselves now, is why has he been mobbed by the media, Jeb Bush and these confounded crack pots for doing so?

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