Monday, April 22, 2013

About our schools...


I saw a very concerning email today. I am a parent of a soon-to-be Kindergartner, so a friend forwarded a PTA email. The email shared the upcoming school district budget proposal for FY2014 - and highlighted some significant concerns:

Many teacher jobs are on the chopping block.

Teachers who keep their jobs will each face 5 days of furlough.

Band and orchestra for middle and high schools? Budget proposal says CUT.

Art and music classes for elementary? Yep... budget proposal says CUT.

Media and library professionals? Cut and CUT.

This is extremely distressing! In a few weeks, we will close on our new house. We moved for the schools. Are the sought-after schools in our area going to stay strong with less staff and no creative expression? With dying libraries?

I just cannot begin to understand why music and art programs seem to always be on the chopping block. Schools these days are all about standardized testing - pressure, stress, and test scores that are the benchmark for everything they do. But music and art? These foster creative thinking and open expression.

Show me a high-powered business professional today who hasn't had to depend on creativity.

I guess I will be joining the PTA next year... we can't let this happen!

10 comments :

  1. As a teacher who works in a school with no art class, I can say that teachers are amazing at incorporating the arts into other subjects. I don't think students will go completely without, but they may not have direct instruction. I would say there is some type of art in my lesson plans at least once every week. I teach 6th grade in Arizona.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I fully expect to have to supplement at home, especially in arts and music and math. We have an entire cabinet devoted to projects now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have always thought the schools were too focused on standardized testing and very lacking in other areas. Kids should be able to explore their interests but they aren't being allowed to do that due to budget cuts. i really think it's sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to disagree with the idea that kids can't explore their interests due to standardized tests. It takes a creative teacher, though. I have a challenge board in my classroom where I post various activities for when children are finished with classwork or for them to take home. If I hear of a particular interest from a student I will be sure to put up challenge board activities in that area of study. Also, letting students make choices within the standards being taught can be empowering and increase interest. Finally, every Friday one of my students delivers a lesson to our class. The children are encouraged to find something that really makes them excited and that they want to share.

      Delete
    2. Karen, you have a very good point. I don't mean to criticize any teachers who are in this situation. I applaud creative lesson plans - I'm sure that makes all the difference for the kids!

      Delete
    3. Julie, I don't think you were being critical. It is frustrating that there are so many ways education is being cut. I just personally take it as a challenge to step up my game! :-)

      Delete
  4. This breaks my heart.
    I learned so much about practice and discipline from the music programs I enjoyed in public school.
    One of the many reasons I'm considering home schooling our son or moving for a charter school - but even that is a "luck of the draw" option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a teacher in a charter school, and a parent who has had children in more than one charter school, I do have to say that you have to look closely before choosing that route. Not every charter school is right for every child. You really do have to believe in the philosophy and practices of the school for it to be successful.

      Delete
    2. Joyce, despite all the jokes about "band geeks", my most vivid high school memories and life-long friendships were formed from band trips, competitions, and playing at football games. It was a huge part of my life then, and I am really sad to think that Amelia may not ever experience such a group. And how boring will football games be without a band?! Will they make it a club instead of a class? I just don't understand how that will work.

      Delete
    3. Julie, you have a great point about the band at the football games. I can only remember one game I attended, and that was because of the student who got airlifted to the hospital for an injury. I can, however, remember that I went to many games and had such a fun time because of the band.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...