Educators, parents rally to save fine arts programs in elementary schools

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  • J
    Sept. 26, 2009 9:15 a.m.

    To Jdog: If your idea of emphasizing math and reading is doing pages of math problems and doing grammar and reading exercises all day -- then you are creating a picture of some very unhappy students. Was that how your elementary school experience was? Most people's favorite memories of school are the ones that involved creativity and teamwork, not just "reading and math."

    People need to realize that math and reading can and should be taught through the arts to reach all kinds of learners and light that spark of enthusiasm for a lifetime of learning.

    And what about the parents that can't afford to send their children to after school programs in the arts?

  • TADL
    Sept. 24, 2009 10:53 a.m.

    There is a fundamental misunderstanding of arts in the schools. Most arts education these days focuses on using the arts to teach other curriculum while at the same time teaching art concepts. Learning to tell time while dancing is much more efficient teaching and much more engaging for students than the typical worksheets used to teach such concepts. National and state educators agree: Arts are not regarded as extras these days, frankly, because of studies that show that children learn better through and with the arts than without them... they do better, as measured on standardized tests! It should be all the arts for all the kids. Specialized schools should not be our emphasis now. Arts integration should be in every classroom will produce strong educational results across the board!

  • matt
    Sept. 23, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be great if we had some schools that focus on art, others on math and science, and others on literature or music? I think so.

    Give the schools more flexibility and the parents more power to choose where their children attend school and that's what you'll get. Every parent will be able to get what they want.

  • to JDog
    Sept. 23, 2009 3:46 p.m.

    School is a place that we as a society can send our kids to learn whatever we deem to be important. It may not be wise to think of it as a place for readin', ritin' and rithmetic. Have you really thought carefully about the box you define as what "should be taught in public school" ? There are a spectrum of possibilities that in my mind range from what may seem frivolous to the most practical life skills (e.g. how to fill out a tax return). We must prioritize and focus on the essentials to some extent, but are you really sure that our children will be better off including history/science on our mandated list as opposed to, say, fine arts. Personally I would rather get rid of some of the other classes our state requires.

  • JDog
    Sept. 23, 2009 10:22 a.m.

    We want them to learn, play, create, dance and sing, rather than just learn math all day," Frazier said.

    This quote clearly illustrates the challenges of teachers and administrators. You get parents that have an opinion, and the parents never consider that there are others that have a differing opinion about what is important in school. Personally, I WANT my kids to go to a school that has an emphasis on math and reading. Students can participate in art activities AFTER the school day. Parents can sign them up for community classes, or teach them at home.

    A teacher can never please everyone, they just have to make the best decision possible for as many kids as possible. Parents that believe that art is essential to the learning of their child can enroll them in a private school, charter school, or start their own charter school that emphasis more art. I want my children in school to learn reading, math, and science/history.