Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More on "special" classes

Since my post went up last night, there have been numerous comments--one here and a whole string on Facebook.  I have friends and family everywhere on the political spectrum.  Some of whom might agree on one issue and be diametrically opposed on another.  The range of responses shows in the discussion regarding my post.  As long as the discussion is civil, that's what American is all about.  The opportunity to think, discuss, and come to a conclusion based on well reasoned debate and compromise.

Those who have posted may disagree on how high taxes for public education should be.  Those who have posted may disagree on whether public education should focus solely on the ABC's and 123's or on the "ta-ta-ti-ti's" too.  (A reference to music rhythms.)  Those who have posted may debate the role of the public school versus the role of the parent.  Those who have posted may debate the role of the school in teaching a person how to be a good worker or a good citizen or the most well rounded person they can be.  That is fine.  I don't expect everyone to agree.

One thing I hope there is at least consensus on is that children who don't have access to the range of experiences in the "special" classes (gym, library, arts, etc.) don't experience the same richness of life.  Is that a problem?  Again, I am sure there will be debate.  Perhaps, in the same way that we can never provide every medical care service that every person in America could every possibly think is useful (because it would require too many resources), we have to think along the same lines in education.  We can't provide (at the public's expense) every wonderful and amazing opportunity for every student.  There are only limited resources.  The key is to have a rational debate over what is the best way to choose how to make the sacrifices that will affect the children.

And, the main reason I wrote the blog last night was not to be "just one more voice about saving UD arts."  Rather, I was concerned that I hadn't seen anything about saving gym or saving library.  And I think that everything needs to be part of the discussion.

One friend I know from my own elementary school days told me her 12 year old nephew spoke on why all the programs deserve to be saved.  If he keeps up that level of active citizenship in life, I bet he will go far.  At present, whether his voice has any effect on the outcome or not, it is that kind of spirit, that kind of initiative, that kind of proactive citizenship that Upper Darby School District is good at encouraging and informing when it is at its best.  But that requires critical thinking about the whole curriculum and how it affects the whole child.  This is true even when resources are scarce and sacrifices must be made.    

No comments:

Post a Comment