Cutting arts and boiling frogs

Edusanity has a great writeup on the recent debacle involving an elementary in New York cancelling their kindergarten end of year musical performance to clear out time for more “professional” pursuits aimed at “college and career readiness.” In all honesty, my initial reaction to this news story was that the principal was a brilliant agent provocateur in the fight against the testing movement. What better way to attract attention to the sacrifices our children are making to the altar of Big Testing than this ridiculous decision? By pushing the gradual progression to its eventual conclusion so quickly, maybe the proverbial frog will take notice and jump from the pan instead of sitting in the gradually warming pot and getting boiled to death?

After some reflection, I reconsidered. We’ve already sacrificed recess; my children get around 15 minutes a day at their elementary. Music, art, and physical education are on a rotating basis at their school, getting one of the three a day. I’m not criticizing their teachers or school or district, as I’m they all do a wonderful job with the task their given (don’t hate the player, hate the game). Regardless, it’s clear that the water is getting hotter and hotter. With decisions like the one in New York, maybe the public will insist that the recipe be changed.



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