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You shouldn't feel threatened by teachers who are skeptical about national and
state assessments in the arts. Just kidding.
As one who opposes national tests, national standards and national curricula
I admit to feeling a principle is being threatened. I'm just trying to hold
on to a principle that goes beyond issues of funding a program. And what is
the principle? That standards for performance and achievement in the arts are
local matters...something that evolves in the work that goes on among and
between my students and me and the local community. The more distant the
source of the assessment, the less it reflects whats going on in my classroom,
among my students and the work we are doing together. The less it has meaning
in guiding what we do. And isn't that the point of assessment? Do you want the
federal government, congress, the likes of Jesse Helm and Newt sticking their
sticky little hands into what goes on in YOUR art room? Yep, I guess I find
that threatening. Do I agree with everything my local Board and community want
in regard to teaching and assessing the arts? Nope. But they're neighbors,
parents and colleagues. I can discuss this stuff face to face. I'll win
sometimes and lose other times. But its local and that makes all the
difference in the world.