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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001286.txt from 1998/04

From: "Diane Karius, Ph.D." <>
Subj: Re: budget cutbacks
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 01:04:05 -0400

Jason Hsien wrote:
> Now, I can understand why people can get angry because of my support of
> athletic programs over music programs. Yes, I love music, but I am trying to
> be rational. Instead of thinking of schools as simply places of education,
> think of them as small businesses. Athletics is a great public relations
> device. So is music, but which one seriously makes a bigger punch?

Although the school boards and voters often like to treat schools
(public or private) as "small business", as an educator I believe
this to be a serious mistake. Once one starts to view the school
from the "small business" point of view, I have found that
inevitably the focus begins to narrow. Decisions come to be based
on "short term" thinking - in the statement above the decision is
based on the public relations and how many people come to the
respective events (things which shouldn't be entirely ignored
either). However, the purpose of the school is not
to "sell" anything, make a profit, or make people cheer. Schools
serve (at least) two major purposes: 1) to impart a body of
knowledge (general or specific) that has been determined to be
required in order to successfully function within society and one's
chosen profession; *and* 2) the development/nuturing of the various
talents that people will use to change the world. These are
long-term events - in the United States we concede that this is AT
LEAST a 12 year process (and many companies want 16 or more years of
education). To make budgetary decisions based primarily on the short
term criteria of "popularity" or "money-making potential" is to
cripple the entire system.
I'll step off my soap box now....
Diane R. Karius, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology
University of Health Sciences
2105 Independence Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64124
email: dikarius@-----.EDU

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