It is not surprising that not many folk were unwilling to engage in the
political debate here on the list. In the past...when political thread has been
brought up...it has been difficult to discuss it in this forum because it is
apparent that many do not know how to debate their beliefs without ramming them
down other's throats. I personally feel very censored on this list....not
just w/regard to political beliefs.
However, what I will say...is that as educators...it is important to engage
in the political debate for many reasons.
#1....as someone mentioned many artists we celebrate were the political
activists of their time...artists who created artwork that celebrated heros and/or
made social commentary on the horrors of war or the injustices of society
#2. as evidenced by current legislation, as educators we must be educated
about legislation that effects our curriculum, our budgets, our certification
requirments. our classroom sizes, the number of classes we teach a day, the
number of days we work a year, etc. all affected by who is in office, who holds
the power, who writes the check
#3 As artistis....we must continue the debate about who has the right to
choose what art we view, what is art and should/can content of art be legislated.
It is interesting the the current secretary of education, Paige, recently
send a letter to every superintendent in the United States, telling them about
the importance of arts education. You see...he had been out in the country and
discovered that because of NCLB...the arts and arts educaton programs were
being cut in favor of more language arts and math. As NCLB states the arts as a
core discipline he was surprised and disturbed...of course it amazes me it
took him 3 years to catch on...as we have been feeling the ripple effects of this
for 3 years now.
So...that is my .02 on the political debate in this forum. I used to be
someone who felt that I would always be taken care of and trusted my elected
officials to be educated and to do the things that would benefit society as a
whole...but I have learned my lesson the hard way.
No matter your political bent....educate yourselves, vote and encourage
others to vote...especially you high school teachers who have an opportunity to
educate the first wave.