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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Arts ed snubbed again

When it comes to teaching the arts, many New Jersey school districts get an F. A preliminary report to the state Board of Education this week found that one in five schools don't meet the state's curriculum standards and 6 percent don't offer arts instruction at all. That's a shame. The arts - dance, music, theater and visual arts (painting, photography, sculpture, etc.) - may not be as flashy as sports, but they are skills that bring out talents that are as significant as an athlete's and instill an appreciation of culture that may last a lifetime.

What's to account for this poor performance? The arts have always gotten short shrift, in part because they don't bring in money to school districts. Now add in the federal No Child Left Behind law, which has encouraged -- no doubt unintentionally -- too many school districts to teach to the test in key academic areas. As a result, subjects such as the arts -- and the children who need them -- are the ones left behind. Administrators whose schools don't meet the state standards should be asked to explain why.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you on crack? I am in Fair Haven. I am paying $15,000 a year in property taxes as is. Should I pay more just to have some dope-smoking, former Friday's waitress/"art history major" talk to my kids about their "interpretation" of some local "art" that I would all too soon name "shit on a plate?"

8:13 PM, October 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment above demonstrates that (1) there are cultural philistines among our voters and taxpayers as well as our school administrators, and (2) our students clearly need meaningful education in the fine and performing arts. With due instruction in these academic fields, our children can escape the curse of cultural ignorance.

8:54 AM, October 24, 2006  

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