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Teaching art is important to us then so is the politic that addresses it / Put away your hankies


From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Oct 04 2004 - 07:47:02 PDT

I want to agree that we need to be concerned that we hold our writings
to what is making an impact on the teaching of art. Right to life is
not appropriate discussion but the administrations education policy is
appropriate to this list!

While I would love to feel comfortable typing away about materials and
innovative ideas I am concerned that with 4 more years of the current
policies there will be such a reduction of art positions in public
schools there will be no need for discussing lesson plans and questions
about using phone wire in interesting ways.

After my last post I got lots of questions off line. One question was
why does the current administration think vouchers and private schools
are so much better. They don't! Follow the money! Privatization is
the goal. Not improving education. Getting all that money for public
education out into the private for profit hand is the goal.

The lobbyist working for our state association has been trying to get
the word out that this is the plan behind No Child Left Behind. He
speaks and the teachers look at him like "dear in the headlights" and
get diverted by other issues. This is our back yard ladies and
gentleman. If the administration continues then they will assume that
they have a mandate in all policies and No Child Left Behind will
exhilarate until public schools are so crippled that vouchers become
the norm.

In DC they have vouchers. The result were the parents who took
advantage of vouchers were those who already paid to have their
children in private schools. The others who were expected to apply
said they did not apply because of the additional cost beyond vouchers.

I am leaving in a few hours to our state conference. We expect 1,300
art educators to be attending. I will be presenting a workshop for
about 40 pre-service teachers to try to share 40+ years of experience.
  My hope for all of them is that they have as satisfying, productive,
and lengthy an experience in education as I have had. I want to focus
on telling them about tessellation, line of symmetry, class management
but underneath is the worry that they will have done all the training
and only a few or none will have jobs in 4 years.

I own a riffle and am pro-life for myself and pro-choice for everyone
else. I lean toward traditional republican goals. I graduated from
Oklahoma Baptist University and my father and first (late) husband were
ministers. More important to me than any of these is the continuation
of arts education in the schools which will not survive 4 more years of
the current policies. I do not want to live my ripe old age in a
nation where the workforce had schooling that was testing in the
extreme and didn't learn to solve problems and think creatively.
Scares me in the depths of my being.

I was recently at a long weekend gathering of my husbands colleagues in
the army. I listened to them talk for 3 days. They are scared. They
see the same destruction of the armed forces that I see happening in
the public schools. I spent an evening this weekend in a large
gathering with very bright 30 to 40 year old young people who are
mostly working in the sciences. The same conversations were taking
place. In both gatherings the mixture of people would run from extreme
liberal to extreme conservative but all were worried about the future
of their profession.

I should be packing my goodies for my 2 presentations but instead I had
to put my thoughts and concerns for our professional survival into
words to share with you and hope you will hear what I am saying. I do
not want to look back at this post in 4 years and say "I wish they had
known what would happen with 4 more years of this"

Sharon ~ concerned in NJ

On Sunday, October 3, 2004, at 10:33 PM, Carolyn Roberts wrote:
> Susan...I totally agree with you about politics and this list.  <snip> 
> I hear the arguments back and forth about both parties everytime I
> turn on the television or pick up the newspaper. It's so nice to have
> this list where we can put politics aside and discuss our passion of
> our art and our passion of teaching art to our children.
> Please...let's be careful about what we post on this list.
> Carolyn writes:

> Only kidding!    Better to have said that perhaps we should keep
> political posts like "Put away your hankies"  out of artsednet and
> stick to art topics. You're right, Carolyn, those two posts did not
> belong on the list, and neither did my response!  I have a great
> political cartooning lesson to share-much more productive to the
> group.... Susan on Long Island