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Lesson Plans


Re: "Electives" long post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
kprs (KPRS)
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 12:36:43 -0500


About 5 years ago (and I'm not exactly sure on the date, so I am sure there are
New Jersey art teachers out there than can correct me) our state, New Jersey
started writing State Proficiencies. In doing so, educators were involved. The
New Jersey Art Educators is a VERY professional organization who was heads up
on the beginnings of the state's initiatives, and made sure that an articulate,
well informed art educator was part of every committee possible. At the time, I
went to all of my industrial arts friends and said what is YOUR professional
union doing, and of course they said 'huh?' To make a LONG fight and story
shorter, art is required and written in the state proficiencies from K-12, and
in such a way that a classroom teacher WOULD NOT be able to cover all that an
art educator could. So, now, in order to make it through the 'gates' of
education on the primary and secondary level, students MUST HAVE ART, but they
don't have to have any of the industrial education courses, i.e. shop, home ec.
etc.. In addition, I saw the handwriting on the wall about electives as soon as
property taxes started inching their way up. Citizens will cut anything they
can to save a few pennies....so what I did was go back to school and get a
certificate in an ACADEMIC subject--English....AND in order to make my 20+ year
career secure, I lobbied to actually TEACH an English class, so now I am
accruing time in the English department as well. (Of course my husband thought
I was a loon, but now he sees the wisdom, as our district is saying OK you have
to have an art experience, but it doesn't have to be so extensive, does it? (My
next prediction is they go from studio courses to some form or 'art
appreciation' course, thus eliminating the need for more than one art teacher,
and the costly supplies).

My point? Be aware, look into the future, fear the worst, read the handwriting,
find alternatives.

San D

Betty Bowen wrote:

> An independent school district on the edge of OKC just this week eliminated
> all its "electives" - Tuesday morning they just "let go" their art, vocal
> music, home ec, computer/tech, PE, & wood shop teachers.