Friday, May 9, 2008

Score This!!!

The United States is a score crazy culture. If you can't separate the winners from the losers, why do it? NCLB is a natural extension of this underlying sociological need to keep score.

Before WE condemn THEY for forcing US to give tests to THEM...WE should take a good long look in the mirror. We may be teachers during the day but in the evening, we become raving lunatics shouting at coaches, referees, and our children as they compete on various athletic fields.

Last night provided a welcome reprieve from The Great American Sorting Machine. It came in the form of a middle school chorus concert. The kids danced and sang their hearts out. There were no booing fans or yelling coaches. My spirit was lifted.

The music teacher gave a sincere, impassioned speech to the assembled audience including school administrators about the need to make time for the arts. I could not agree more. The students expressed their heartfelt gratitude for this teacher who had confidence in them, cared about them, and helped them be their best.

My 16 yr. old son, who inexplicably wanted to attend his little sisters' performance, brought the message of the evening into focus for me. He wasn't there to see his sister. My son had come along to see his Jr. High music teacher. The one who inspired him to play the drums and return to the Piano that his father had forced him to play as a child.

Despite the absence of a scoreboard, it was clear who the winners were last night.
I hope it is equally clear to anyone reading this who the losers will be if we continue to marginalize art and music classes.

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