Sunday, December 13, 2009

Missing Persons

When talking about the threats to arts education in the state of California, key people have been completely left out of the conversation. Education decisions made at the top are all based on dollars and data, not human potential or social responsibility. When deciding the fate of the arts and education, those who are most impacted by these decisions have been ignored. It’s easy to do, because they are all politically powerless. Who, or what, is missing?

Missing Children. Kids are the victims of the selfishness and failures of the adults in charge, all of whom tend to exploit them in order to push their own agendas. Very few can genuinely claim that they have acted on behalf of the best interests of children. If the kids had their own union, then the adults in charge might actually do what they say they are going to do. With their own union, kids could stay home until their demands were met. What would their demands be? Make us a priority, keep your promises, and educate us!

The Artist is Missing. When deciding curriculum, the artist has been left out of the decision making process. Yet teaching artists are expected to teach the curriculum given to them, without their input, and with little license to interpret and teach creatively. And now that the arts are being threatened, the artist has been called in to help advocate for the cause by working to plug up the leaks of the sinking arts education boat. The artist is missing in society, too, leaving us without heart, passion, vision, or purpose.

School districts are not in the business of educating students. They are employment agencies whose primary purpose is to manage liability. The LAUSD is the worst, because it is the biggest.
Our state legislature has failed us because those making laws are not acting on behalf of what is best for the people of California. They, too, are looking out for number one. The underlying issue to the budget crisis in LAUSD, the state, and the country is the dark side of capitalism - personal greed.