Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump's budget and the arts.

Trump's proposed budget severely cuts funding for the arts at a time in which arts comprehension and student ability in the arts have already been severely curtailed by standardized testing and excessive pressures on testable subject areas.
American teenagers are not excelling in the arts, and President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts will likely make matters worse, experts say.

The most recent results of a wide-ranging national educational assessment known as the Nation’s Report Card left significant room for improvement in the visual arts and music, the National Center for Education Statistics reported Tuesday.

Students scored an average 147 in music and 149 in visual arts on a scale of 300, dipping very slightly from 2008, when the test was last administered. A sample of 8,800 eighth-grade students from public and private schools participated in the 2016 National Assessment of American Progress, which evaluates comprehension based on a series of questions and original work.
In the early days of manual arts training, some educators claimed that there was no time available to be wasted on such pursuits as the manual arts. Manual arts advocates argued that the academics could be learned in less time if invigorated by manual arts studies. Who you think was right?

In the meantime, education secretary Betsy DeVos and conservatives in congress are pushing for a vast increase in the number of charter schools to give parents "choice," through a  system of vouchers. In a study of Washington DC schools, voucher system students in charter schools are performing less well. So much for that idea. Why don't policy makers learn and move on? Perhaps rigid adherence to belief is more important to them than reality.

Children have an overwhelming need to do real things. To sequester them in the unreality of academic pursuits is to stifle their spirits as well as their curiosity. And yet the idiocy of educational policy makers persists.

The seesaw that my elementary school students and I made continues to be their favorite thing on campus and they head for it in a beeline whenever they are let out for recess. They are learning things that will never show up on standardized tests, but will show up in life.

Today, from 11AM to 2 PM, We have an open house at the Clear Spring School. You are welcome to attend.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

1 comment:

  1. Charter schools are being pushed so that friends of DeVos and the like will make big profits for schools they own.