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Lesson Plans


advocacy

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mcracker
Sun, 3 Jan 1999 15:19:36 EST


Dear list members,
I've just spent an hour searching the archives and I still can't find the
materials I suspect are there, under some heading I'm not connected with. Let
me explain my dilemma---I teach in a middle school with a required art
component for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. This class lasts for 7 weeks each year
and rotates (for the kids) with health, computers, Spanish, and tech ed. We
also have an hour at each grade level called the "Arts Block" during which
kids can take band, choir, general music, elective art or elective tech ed
(one semester each). To help kids with academic problems, our school has
instituted an "academic assistance" class. This is basically a resource time
for kids who are haaving trouble in the "core" classes. Parents have the final
choice of which hour the kids will miss for their academic assistance resource
time. Guess which hour they almost always choose????? (If their kid is in
band, they almost never choose the arts block because they've made a financial
investment.) The bottom line is that their kids are missing 3 years of health,
tech ed, art, computers and Spanish.
On Thursday, another teacher and I are meeting with the guidance counselor
and the principal to discuss how the decisions are being made, what info the
parents are given, whether they are advised thart their kids can actually miss
math or english for this assistance, etc., etc. I have lots of opinions and
anecdotal info to share and I do have the Buisiness Week supplement to share,
but I need more.....I am afraid that this is only the tip of the iceberg as we
move into an era of standards, testing, no social promotion, graduation tests
in the core subject areas, etc.
How do your schools deal with this problem? Are there other ways of offering
academic support? Is there some firm research dealing with the positive
benefits of art and tech ed related to the other academic areas??
Thanks so much.
Marcia Thompson
West Salem Middle School
West Salem, WI