No action on saving the arts

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Click here for my comments I made at last night’s Board meeting on arts elective time restoration.

Our illustrious school board took no action last night on whether to restore the lost art/music time cut from our elementary and middle schools in favor of No Child Left Behind test prep.

News & Record excerpt:

 District officials and consultants presented the board with a mix of options that would provide more planning time for core classroom teachers and limit the number of classes that specialty teachers have each day.

The most expensive options — which could cost as much as $5 million — would ensure once-weekly art, music and physical education, and twice-weekly foreign language for students across the district.

In the past few months, parents and arts advocates have expressed concern about cuts to art and music classes at middle and elementary schools.

At some elementary schools, art and music classes were reduced to pay for foreign language classes.

District officials said Thursday that the issue was not money, but time — how to schedule a school day that would help increase student success and meet teacher needs.

The image “,%20C.%20III.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.  “If we are trying to have it all, what are our priorities?” asked Mack McCary, chief academic officer for the district.

If we are trying to have it all, what are our priorities…I don’t believe he asked this question. And this guy is the chief academic officer…wow.
Our priorities, sir, are to educate our children…educate the whole child.

(this blog just writes itself…)

More: Consultant Lynn Canady said one option is to go to a six-day schedule rotation, instead of Monday through Friday, for elementary schools.

The option would ease schedules for teachers. It would also prevent students from missing their Monday and Friday special classes, which often get cut because of holiday schedules.
I’m sorry, how much are we paying these consultants?

Now, notice the contradiction:

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The consultants said another solution would be to add minutes onto the school day — an option supported by Charles Burns, principal at Kernodle Middle School.

His students have a 420-minute day, 20 minutes longer than the baseline 400-minute day.

“If I could extend the day longer, I’d do it,” Burns said.

But school board members noted that adding time to the school day isn’t necessarily a key to success.

Isn’t that what Grier wants to do to other schools, namely Ferndale? Add time on the end and extend their school year? You board members just said it yourselves…time extension isn’t necessarily a key to success; that’s what myself and the John Locke Foundation have been trying to tell you all along.


High Point Enterprise excerpt:

School officials took no action during Thursday’s meet­ing on restoring art and music classes, despite a huge turnout of art advocates and several months of discussion on the issue.
About 15 speakers attended Thurs­day’s school board meeting, fervently supporting classes such as band, cho­rus and drama. Since the beginning of the school year, teachers, parents and students alike have been angered by a districtwide reduction in non-academic classes. The reductions are due in part to a greater focus on math and reading classes at the middle school level, and at the elementary level, a need to allocate art and music specialists more equita­bly while at the same time offering class­room teachers more planning time.

We’re not going away.  If anything, the advocacy will continue until serious changes are made. Bank on it.

E.C. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: