Last month on Americans for the Arts’ Arts Blog, Elizabeth Laskowski, wrote about how she welcomed standardized testing for the arts because it was making her school finally take her seriously.
My first thought was that she was basically embracing the philosophy of the kid who always acts up in class–even attention in a negative context is better than no attention.
Because students will now be tested in the arts area, Laskowski will now receive regular evaluations of her teaching, attending her class will no longer be a “carrot and stick” privilege afforded well-behaved children, students will get up to 135-180 minutes a week with her instead of 30 and the grades in her class will actually count.
It probably goes without saying that I think it shouldn’t take the threat of testing to create a situation where a music teacher is thrilled that:
“We will no longer be simply a prep time for general education teachers, or a way for the kids to blow off a little steam before they get back to work. The arts will be full fledged, real, and valuable subjects, worthy of time, money, and respect.”
Elizabeth Laskowski’s post illustrated for me that it isn’t enough to just advocate for arts in the schools, requiring that they be treated seriously and taught is also apparently necessary.
Parents may have to scrutinize claims of arts classes being offered. It appears all classes are not created equal and one should not assume that three years of music class provides roughly equivalent instruction hours as three years of French.