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Christmas Wish List

With only a few days left until Christmas, I thought I would share my wish list of gifts that I would like to see under my Arts Educators tree this year!  The fist gift would be a substantial budget for all arts education in public schools.  I ‘m not greedy.  I don ‘t want ALL the money to come to Arts Education, just our share. 

Currently in California, the Block Grant funds that were initiated three years ago have been frozen or confiscated by individual school districts to pay for “bills and other things” leaving us with little or nothing.  Give us that money back, Santa, and we will be happy.  Gift number two is having public education realize that QUALITATIVE assessment is as important as QUANTITATIVE assessment!  In our break neck rush to “Race to the Top”, schools are focusing only on quantitative, measurable data- which has merit, but is by no means the end all assessment for student performance.  How do you measure acting quality?  Or artistic creativity?  Are those students less of a success because they excel at a a skill that cannot be statistically tested?  My third and final gift wish is the most difficult I fear.

I would love to see creativity become the core around what all other school programs, curricula and instruction are designed.  Creativity exists in all subject matter.  To tap into the creative realm, to ask “what if….?” in every subject matter, is to really prepare kids for a lifetime of discovery and learning.  And isn ‘t that what education is all about?  We are not here to throw material at students so that they can toss it back to us on a standardized test.  The real test is what they will do with that information.  How can they re-design it, re-shape it, enhance it, and make the world a better place? Are these three gifts too much to ask, or would they be on your wish list as well?  What else is on your list? 

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