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View Full Version : Arts education: the way of the Dodo?


Mkent41616
03-18-2004, 10:26 PM
undefined well it looks loke in georgia arts education is being phased out due to budget cuts. already the 5 counties around me have gotten rid of art in the elementary schools and i get the feeling that my job is going this year too. (this was after my principle suggested i get my resume ready) so how many others are feeling the pinch?

Deb McLaren
03-27-2004, 07:34 AM
undefined well it looks loke in georgia arts education is being phased out due to budget cuts. already the 5 counties around me have gotten rid of art in the elementary schools and i get the feeling that my job is going this year too. (this was after my principle suggested i get my resume ready) so how many others are feeling the pinch?

I have nothing to contribute aside from my opinion. I sometimes wonder why the arts are the first to go...why not get rid of sports first?

What would happen if we tore down the stadium and built an art museum?

When the school boards cut the arts, you are suddenly aware of the mentality of your school board members...maybe it's time for a change?

LarrySeiler
03-27-2004, 03:42 PM
my cousin teachers 5th grade in Orange County, California...and thanks to the pressures of teaching to the tests and leave no kid behind, their district now has NO art...NO music education program, and NO phy ed....

Then, thru various sources this past year, heard that New York's department of education was questioning dropping requirements for art education.

Since Soho and New York is considered the art capital of the world, the rest of the nation will reverberate horribly should New York determine this an appropriate action. If the art capital of the world finds justification for such, there will remain little foot to stand upon to resist districts in other states from doing the same.

It is one reason of course that I place as much emphasis on my art making and doing workshops. The art teacher does not go home at days end as do the math teacher and others thinking about retirement and such. At least, I do not.

Our district is in a small northern logging community in northern Wisconsin. The brundt of our state's voters live in the southern part of the state, so concerns for their needs and wants drives legislature. Yet, where does everyone want to go for summer and fall recreation but our northwoods?

We had $300,000 cut last year....and another $100,000 to be cut next year. I lost $2600 from my supplies budget this year. So...having lost materials and supplies...we turned our attention to the walls and did quite a few murals this year. In such a way our presence and value will be seen and felt.

For us...we get very little support from tax base, because we exist in a national forest and fewer actual opportunities to own property is available. We rely on state aide which each year gets cut back more and more.

As for sports...it is one of the very few reasons people will leave their home and come together making it a community event. People will talk about their glory years when they played here 15-20 years ago...but few talk about their art classes back then.

As we secularize more...remove the spiritual humanity which supports the value of meaning we will unfortunately lose reason for having such in the schools. Culture grows worse...humanity loses greater sense of its humanity, sociologists and social engineers scratch their heads for the crimes against humanity that are rising.

Sports will continue to placate masses because immediate sensate gratification is always the result of people losing their sense of humanity. The arts appeal to a growing sense of long term appreciation...but such does not satiate the growing appetite of immediacy.

What it comes down to is something like this...."the heart of the problem is the problem with the heart"

mankind's heart yearns for more something deep....but doesn't know what it is that will satisfy its yearning. Thus, it turns to that which promises a quick fix. Fixes that shock, are unique and different. Bigger, louder, crazier.

The more the heart looks to the quick fixes, the more the aesthetics of the sublime, the simple appear ridiculous.

I find it interesting that so many novices and younger at art today, that are taking it more serious are of elder years. Why might that be? I offer the possibility that they as humans have run the gamut of empty promises and quick fixes, and as life naturally slows down for them...and as the idea of leaving a legacy of importance upon others seems less necessary they are finally ready to embrace the sublime.

Compare that with Michelangelo who was already showing up his master teachers at 14 years of age.

I ask students if Michelangelo were born today instead of the 1400's if he would likely have turned out the master...and not one student surmises so. All believe that he would be distracted by Sony Playstation 2...but MTV, music, other kids, sports...you name it. I believe they are probably right.

Interesting they make that judgment yet do not see the mediocrity that controls their time, worth and value as unfortunate!

I am quite blunt as an artist/teacher to let them know that making art is a sacrifice...that instead of hitting the bars night after night, I choose to stretch myself creatively and discover my possibilities for being human.

In our small community of 1000 people, we have 13 taverns...and 12 more within a ten minutes drive.

crazy times....

Larry

Mkent41616
03-28-2004, 07:41 PM
Well my area has more than 1000 peopel and fewer taversn but this is the 2nd year they ahve cut our funding. about 1.8 mill over the past 2 years. its getting so bad they are even talking about gettign rid of sports coaches.
of course sigh art is one fo the things they think of first to get rid of since we aren't as evident in the community as band or chorus.

I've had art shows every time there has been an event on the town square to get my students work in the main stream. But i upset our PE teacher when i told her i could not teach an art class with double classes of approximately 50 students. sigh people don't understand that i think its unfair to the students as it wi having 24-28 in a class

Praire Rune
03-30-2004, 12:07 PM
I am new to WC, but here are some thoughts I have. When one door shuts open another. We, too, have been experiencing major cuts in art education in the public school system in Oklahoma. This has caused parents to look outside the school system for "art classes" for their children. Even though the kids are not getting art in the school, they are experiencing all forms of art outside the classroom through art programs offered by the local Parks and Recreation, Museums, Churches, Art Stores, and Art Schools.

If your job is on the line in the public school, consider teaching private art classes. You can create your own schedule, offer a variety of classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, scratch art, printmaking, etc, and give these kids a strong foundation in hands-on art.

This is what I have been doing for the past 4 or 5 years, and I have noticed that while the schools shut down the art programs, more and more parents call me and the other artist-teachers that I work with to teach their kids drawing, painting, etc. These parents are also willing to purchase the supplies necessary for each class. Nothing can compare to the excitement of the creative flow and the sincere appreciation these kids have for you, when you teach them what you know about art. It is rewarding. The plus side is that these kids usually want to be in class, too.

Mkent41616
04-01-2004, 03:49 PM
Well it happened. Last night in the school board meetign they laid off 16 teachers. curiously enough they were the teachers with little family in the area, over 30 years or the highest paid in thier fields. In a way i feel kinda good about it. I've already taken stock and started looking around for schools looking for an art teacher right now there are 15 in my state so hopefully i'll know something soon. For everyone else out there worried about thier jobs trust me get an certification in another field. April 17th i'm going to try to get certified in science. so wish me luck

LarrySeiler
04-01-2004, 06:02 PM
sorry to hear...good luck searching for jobs...and in your pursuit of a science degree. I personally have no interest in moving up into administration or into other areas. Could teach history because I enjoy history...but, I'm simply an artist with a too free wheeling personality. Going back to school for that degree would be too difficult. Feel sorry for my wife I guess in that regard for perhaps that makes me a less responsible individual.

as for teaching outside of the system...I stepped out of education and pursued painting professionally for 12 years. My wife and I were preparing to move out west when the last of our sons graduated.

I was one of those that worked to develop a reputation to be more marketable. Won Wisconsin's Wildlife Artist of the Year, our state's trout stamp competition, was a finalist or runner up 23 of 33 times entered in competitions regionally, nationally and so forth.

However...my wife got hit with fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome, took a couple years for her to get benefits of SSDI thru the court system, (because she is that bad).

I guess I could just not be successful enough, nor make enough money to make ends meet. A spouse that gets ill can vaporize any savings, retirement or any money you might have. I was forced to get back into education for the sake of benefits. Fortunately, I enjoy kids...teaching art...and still have the energy to be creative and meet gallery demands as an artist.

However...the I would wager that most people making it teaching on their own...workshops and such either have been lucky with health...have a healthy partner in life or so forth. There's just not enough people/kids out there to teach on one's own to make ends meet without good health insurance. At least not for some of us...

Larry

bmac
05-01-2004, 01:54 AM
Arkansas must be one of the few states that is increasing funds to education (because of a lawsuit for more 'equitable' education for all districts), so I am not worried about losing my job, however, I'm more worried about the State Department trying to change things so much that they run off all of the good teachers! Some changes I see as beneficial, others are just more paperwork or changes just for the sake of change. :confused:

LarrySeiler
06-09-2004, 10:33 AM
Arkansas must be one of the few states that is increasing funds to education (because of a lawsuit for more 'equitable' education for all districts), so I am not worried about losing my job, however, I'm more worried about the State Department trying to change things so much that they run off all of the good teachers! Some changes I see as beneficial, others are just more paperwork or changes just for the sake of change. :confused:

there usually is some form of vindication meeted out when the top dogs fail to win their way! Never fails!

Larry

azur
06-21-2004, 02:35 AM
I just now saw this topic and I am very interested that this has been brought up. I teach art in public education in Georgia also. We were very nervous this Spring when none of the Art teachers received their contracts for the next school year on time. None of the other Specials teachers did either (Music, PE, Spanish) We finally got our contacts and Art was not cut but the other areas were.

The school system is phasing in a new program called Art Now ( by Creating Pride). Is anyone familiar with this program or had any experience with it? It sounds good but many of the art teachers with our school system have doubts about it because it places an emphasis on teaching the classroom teachers to teach more creatively and holding workshops for them through the year. It is in a three year phase in with the school system.

My daughter is working on her doctorate in education at UCLA and has been telling me for a long time that is there is going to be huge cuts in education and that fine arts will receive the brunt of it. Fotunately I taught as a classroom teacher also so I can go back to that if needed but I feel it is so awful that they have to make these cuts.

Art C. Barber
07-11-2004, 02:36 AM
Hi All fellow Art Educators,

New to this board and I think it's wonderful. I've taught art for about 4 years now here in N.C., and I must say things don't look too good for us here either.
Many counties have been cutting programs. The Art jobs are few and far between, so I've sort of stepped into the EC program. (I'm a "behavioral assistant"). Working with children who are threats to themselves or others in the classroom. :evil: Needless to say, I'm out for the summer and actually don't look forward to going back. But, I have to eat....

Sorry to hear the news, keep your head up. :)

Like one Gentleman who made a very valid point. Children are losing their imaginations to playstations, MTV and the like. I could write a book, but from things I've seen in public schools we're ALL in a A LOT of trouble. :crying: Sorry to be so optimistic about our youths of today.

Ya'll take care....