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Balls for Accountability: A Response to Matt Damon

After reading the article, “Matt Damon Slams Obama, Democrats: ‘One Term President With Some Balls Would Have Been Better'”the urge to respond from an educator’s perspective has been looming over the comment that brought me most concern, “He’s doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education… the idea that we’re testing kids and we’re tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We’re training them, not teaching them.”

Regardless of where you sit under the umbrella of education (in the rain, out of the sun), being informed of and educating the public of the intent in responsible decision-making and accountability measures has to be a priority. Building awareness provides each of us, as stakeholders, the opportunity to respond and act.

We are no longer a society in waiting, each of us has the responsibility to become informed, engage in the practices of accountability, and provide a voice for our children. Education is a large forum and one significantly tied to mandates for reform. YES, there are several issues concerning testing and teacher salary, however, our data across the nation (and the world) reflects the urgency to improve the quality of instruction, create a means to evaluate progress, and give our children the skills necessary for innovation, leadership, and resourcing.

It is one thing to have influence and a sort of earned privilege for a quality education and quite another to be serviced in an educational institution imposed on diverse communities with limited access to resources, as a learning community, educator, administrator and most importantly, as a learner. As an educator, we have to learn to do more with less. Not because we want to, but in the light of the financial reality. Instead of shooting loaded words at the President and educational initiatives, perhaps one should take the time to understand the educational reform models of public education and decide if you would like to serve as an advocate for education by any means, large or small.

Mr.Matt Damon, my question to you would be, “What do you know about Transformative Leadership?” I for one have been working at embracing this leadership style and  reflecting on how my qualities and developed experiences have shaped me to become such a leader. It takes work, dedication, and a long-term commitment to developing systems and resources for the generations of children we are nurturing to take the lead. I sincerely hope that you have had time to reflect and come to resolutions to act on behalf of the children, through education, as an agent of change.

While I disagree with your loose tongue and quick judgments, I believe that we all have within us, a chord to be struck that will spur a movement to enact change. Your children may not have to grow up in the public education system and for that, they are blessed. My children are in this sytem, my commitment to supporting their educational outcomes has been to lead in education and work these trenches. How will you lead?

Continued blessings to you and yours,

Sahmie Sunshine Wytewa

nrgi1@yahoo.com

“Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense.”

from Red Earth, White Lies by Vine Deloria, Jr.

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