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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000575.txt from 2001/05

From: "Jeff Young" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] School Board
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 16:52:42 -0400

Well, I have been a long time reader, but I have never actually posted on
this, but this topic got me to. There have been problems with the school
board in my school district also. However, the problems are a little
different. What is happening is this: The Athletic Department at my school
is telling band and choir students that the letters that they earn in band
or choir are not as important as athletic letters, so therefore the students
that have band and choir letters are being required to get a different
letter jacket. As you can probably see, there are a lot of upset band
students and parents of students in the music program. This has gone before
the school board twice, and they have not made a decision. The problem is
that the wrestling coach and the athletic director have both been there
FOREVER (like over 30 years for the wrestling coach and the A.D. went to HS
there), and they do not want to see anything changed. Unfortuantely they
are teaching to many students at my school that the students who are in band
or choir do not work as hard as students that are in a sport.

Ok, I'll stop ranting now :o)

----- Original Message -----
From: "William Wright" <>
Subject: [kl] School Board

> Our most recent school board was interesting because (in summary) the
> Board had previously been asked to choose between offering a salary
> increase to teachers vs. eliminating instrumental music & librarians.
> My comment was: "Let's look at this from a different point of view.
> You (the Board) have been asked to choose between: (1) offering some
> teachers a small salary increase and firing other teachers in order to
> pay for it; or (2) leaving all salaries unchanged and not firing any
> teachers at all. Does this way of looking at it change your decision?"
> I saw some surprised faces.... you mean that people who help kids with
> books and musical instruments are.... teachers?.... well.... ....maybe
> they are.... hmm...."
> Fortunately, Staff had already (before the meeting) faced the music
> <pardon the pun>. They had come up with a tentative budget that
> retains music and librarians. So the crisis in my district appears to
> be resolved for this year.
> But the underlying assumption really caught my attention. Music
> programs aren't part of 'teaching'.
> The prejudice is obvious once you see it, but it had slipped through the
> system unnoticed when the budget items were being described as 'salary
> vs. instrumental music'. It was quite an eye-opener to me.
> One item that helped was a high school girl who received a $20,000
> scholarship for her artistic skills (mostly painting, but also dance &
> stage). In a separate ceremony conducted by the same Board a few
> minutes before the budget came up for discussion, the young lady had
> received standing ovations from the Board and audience. It was
> difficult for them to cheer one moment and to contend the next moment
> that art was without educational value.
> Someone who was (allegedly) knowledgeable had stated that this
> girl's paintings were going to be worth money someday. One teacher
> stood up and drooled publicly about a $20,000 scholarship and what he
> could do with an extra $10,000 in his science budget. He stated that
> he owned one of this girl's paintings from 7th grade, and he offered to
> sell it and to donate the money to the school. The fellow appeared to
> be 100% serious that a speculator might want to buy the painting in
> hopes that it would be worth big bucks if the girl succeeds. Imagine
> owning one of Mozart's grade-school manuscripts or one of Picasso's
> grade school paintings.
> All of this highlighted the idiocy that music can't be a valuable
> (monetarily) skill.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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