Friday, June 16, 2017

An Open Letter to NC Lawmakers | The Patiently Impatient Teacher

An Open Letter to NC Lawmakers | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

An Open Letter to NC Lawmakers

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An Open Letter to NC State Lawmakers and NC State Superintendent Mark Johnson:
I am a NC native, voter, and public school teacher. I am addressing you all today in regards to several key education policy issues contained with the Senate and House budget drafts that you are currently negotiating to a compromise final budget.
Arts Graduation Requirement
The House version of the budget includes a provision for an arts graduation requirement. I have 17 years experience as a visual arts teacher in NC including a number of years as a department chair for a large high school visual and performing arts department. An arts graduation requirement, especially without additional funding, could have negative unintended consequences. To ensure a quality arts education experience, a teacher is only part of the equation. Visual and performing arts courses require facilities and supplies well beyond the typical classroom supply costs. Running water, instrument storage, piano tuning, set pieces, sheet music…each specialty has major facility requirements, expensive required supplies, and often large start up costs.
Even more concerning is the pressure that a graduation requirement would put on existing arts programs. Many students thrive in the arts and take multiple arts courses throughout their high school careers. Outstanding arts programs get that way because of extended student study and leadership of experienced students. The pressure of a An Open Letter to NC Lawmakers | The Patiently Impatient Teacher:

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