Hopkins partnerships making great improvements----says the headlines. Hopkins is simply taking a public K-12 equal opportunity strong and broad public curricula and making the system into a vocationally tracked corporate apprenticeship from child through young adult all providing free labor and then cheap labor moving Americans from the idea of a career moving into the middle-class to getting them used to Asian sweat shop labor. Creating what will become global corporate education corporations from what used to be this broad public school curricula.
THAT IS THE MEASURE OF GREAT IMPROVEMENTS----IF YOU ARE A GLOBAL CORPORATE CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERAL OR BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CON.
Here you see one of the first things Clinton did when coming to office-----continued the defunding and dismantling of our public school system---university and K-12. As parents shouted SCHOOLS NOT BOMBS through Reagan/Clinton, the entire liberal arts and humanities programs that were strong in all schools were disappearing. By Bush's terms city and rural schools could barely afford a music or art teacher-----much of any school athletic equipment had disappeared---and even the strong high school vocational shop classes were gone. THAT WAS DONE WITH THE GOAL OF MOVING ALL OF THIS TO OUTSOURCED PRIVATE EDUCATION CORPORATIONS AS IS HAPPENING UNDER OBAMA----the corporate global art, music, vocational organizations that now attach to public schools often as after-school programs.
In Asia where this neo-liberal corporate education policy has been in place for decades----charging Asian families much of their disposable income because all of these 'non-profit' corporate organizations are raging for-profit education corporations overseas.....you can see where they are moving these global education corporations tied to not only testing, evaluation, and Common Core----but to our arts, music, and physical education departments that have been part of the public schools through modern history. That warm and fuzzy national art non-profit attached to Baltimore schools and after-school programs are extensions from overseas of the raging for-profit global education corporations built over there.....
AND YES, HOPKINS IS ONLY IN THIS TO BUILD ITS OWN GLOBAL EDUCATION CORPORATIONS STARTING IN BALTIMORE AND OTHER US CITIES.
Graduating from art or music school to become a public school teacher may not have fulfilled the dreams of our creative citizens----but it was for centuries how American arts and humanity grads graduated into jobs that paid well as they paid down student debt and networked into better creative jobs and our public K-12 schools had their own instructors in site for children.
As Schools Trim Budgets, The Arts Lose Their Place
By SUSAN CHIRA
Published: February 3, 1993
Arts education, long dismissed as a frill, is disappearing from the lives of many students -- particularly poor urban students. Even though artists and educators argue that children without art are as ignorant as children without math, their pleas have gone unheard as schools have struggled with budget cuts.
Now, in a new campaign to preserve the arts in schools, supporters are taking a different tack. They argue that art classes teach the very qualities that educators believe can reinvigorate American schools: analytical thinking, teamwork, motivation and self-discipline.
A Vanishing Subject
"Arts education in the public schools is very much at risk of being eliminated if we are not more vigilant," said Carol Sterling, director of arts education for the American Council on the Arts. "We must demonstrate that when children do arts, they are doing critical thinking and problem-solving and learning about civilization. Unless we categorize this in terms people understand, arts will always be considered a frill."
There is little reliable up-to-date information on how many schools actually teach art, music, dance or drama. In states like Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Carolina, arts education is thriving. But in many cities and towns, tight budgets mean that arts are the first to go. In California, fiscal problems have wiped out art classes in many schools, particularly in Los Angeles.
In New York City, a mecca for artists, two-thirds of public elementary schools have no art or music teachers. Many highly regarded programs are suffering, including the selective-admissions high schools for which New York was once renowned. Not only have teachers and classes been eliminated, but even supplies and instruments for after-school activities like band or theater productions are gone.
By contrast, Japan and Germany require schoolchildren to study the arts every year, and their schools devote more classroom time to arts than American ones.
Yet America's changing economy and its increasing ethnic diversity make arts education more important than ever before, experts argue.
The Case for Arts What the Arts Can Teach
Few educators dispute the arts' importance, but they argue that hard times demand hard choices. "Yes, I want more art, but my priorities are what?" said James S. Vlasto, a spokesman for the New York City school system, which has seen tight budgets cut arts classes severely. "Do I preserve class sizes from kindergarten through sixth grade at less than 40? We need more art, we certainly do, but we need more bilingual teachers."
Yet arts are vital, supporters argue, because they can help develop the very skills employers say they want, offer lucrative job opportunities and teach sensitivity to other cultures. Arts education, its supporters say, helps children develop their own artistic talents, encourages some to stay in school, builds future audiences and teaches them about past civilizations. Moreover, new theories about how children learn and think suggest that the arts can inspire children often dismissed as failures.
"When there is no art in school, there is usually no alternative to learning by the written and spoken word," said Carol Fineberg, an arts education consultant who has examined how children developed analytical abilities through studying art. "Kids who have a capacity to communicate visually have no avenue for expression. They feel themselves with each year increasingly a failure."
Take a recent art class at Colorow Elementary School in Littleton, Colo., taught by Angelique Acevedo, who was named the 1992 Art Teacher of the Year in the American Teacher Awards.
Running so fast he lost his breath, a boy rushed into Ms. Acevedo's art room and handed her a bag. "Blue bottle caps!" shouted the teacher, who seemed as excited as the boy. "Awesome!"
The bottle caps will become objects of art. They might become the eyes on an African mask, or the buttons on an American Indian dance costume.
"If you're painting, roll up your sleeves," Ms. Acevedo called to children clustered in groups of eight around three big round tables. "Let's go!"
The fourth graders knew just what to do. They scurried in all directions. Some children pulled their Japanese paintings off a clothesline strung across the room. Others took out knives to work on origamic architecture, a three-dimensional Japanese paper design.
At the end of the hour, Ms. Acevedo told her students not to worry if their projects were incomplete. "You can come in at break or after school," she said, and there was not a word of protest among the students about the suggestion of giving up free time to do unfinished schoolwork. The Past and Present Mrs. Molloy's Piano Or Nothing at All
Formal arts education in the United States began in the late 19th century, with the rationale that future workers needed to be able to design competitive industrial goods. Many artists, in particular minority artists like the conductor Michael Morgan, had their first contact with art in public school.
That is not to say that arts education was uniformly good.
"I don't know when the Golden Age was," Dr. Fineberg said. "In the 1950's, when I went to elementary school and Mrs. Molloy played the piano, we had what laughingly passed for music education."
In fact, 75 percent of Americans in a 1989 National Endowment for the Arts report said they had never had any art appreciation classes, and 43 percent had never had art lessons.
Yet if arts education has always been spotty, experts say things are worse now.
The Title 1 and Federal funding for underserved public schools that was to see they had all that was subsidized arts, music, and physical education often never made it to public schools---especially in Republican states and cities like Baltimore where over a $1 billion in these funds were identified in lawsuit with a judge ruling with black schools to affirm this. This is why Baltimore Public Schools and I'm sure cities across the South have absolutely no arts, music, or physical education equipment. These public schools are collapsing shells we are told are to be revitalized in a Baltimore Development schools as development tools kind of way. This sells nicely to new middle-class families brought in thinking this is all about gentrification----
BUT THEY NEED TO WAKE UP----BECAUSE THIS IS THE NEW WORLD ORDER VOCATIONAL TRACKING/APPRENTICESHIP FOR ALL EDUCATION POLICIES BEING INSTALLED FIRST IN THESE UNDERSERVED SCHOOLS.
If you think this structure is going to continue as corporations donating to a non-profit national education organizations tied to after-school programs offered for FREE-----I have swamp land in Florida to sell. As the working class and poor are moved out of Baltimore's city center and middle-class move in---these once free non-profits will become the same raging for-profits as Asian middle-class families have faced for decades and those poor and working class schools for which all this progressive posing is about----WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ANY OF THIS. Think who will be in these global International Economic Zones like Baltimore----the world's rich will be in the city center being drained with ever high prices for this liberal arts and humanities for--profit structure---and the 90% of Americans they want to drive into poverty will have nothing but schools with vocational tracking that attach children at very young ages to corporate apprenticeships that last throughout young adulthood.
Just what is a Dallas Independent School District ISD? It is a school district building the same K-12 structures as Baltimore under the same Bush/Hopkins neo-conservative corporate K-12 education policies-----and it is growing liberal arts, physical education, and music education corporations with Federal funding and corporate seed money ----
SUDDENLY THE CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA GLOBAL POLS THAT DEFUNDED AND DISMANTLED ARTS, MUSIC, AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION ARE NOW LEADING IN BRINGING IT ALL BACK IN US INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES.
Those poor children in US cities slated to become International Economic Zones for the world's rich with massive poverty for everyone else MUST HAVE THE ARTS AND MUSIC SAY THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS!
Below you see the mirror of what is happening in Baltimore complete with the $1 billion school building credit bond deal that will take these public schools private with the coming bond market collapse and economic crash---OR SO THEY THINK.
Texas Bush neo-cons led the way in installing International Economic Zones as their economy and they are not shy about simply calling all this a completely separate Independent School System..The forces working for decades to defund and dismantle our public school arts and humanities are now posing progressive pretending all this is about bringing this back to underserved schools when it is simply moving raging global for-profit education corporations from overseas into our US public K-12 school structure.
About Dallas ISD
The Dallas Independent School District sits in the heart of a large, diverse and dynamic region with a metropolitan population of 6.5 million people in the 12 counties in North Central Texas. Dallas ISD comprises 384 square miles and encompasses the cities of Dallas, Cockrell Hill, Seagoville, Addison, Wilmer and parts of Carrollton, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, Hutchins, Lancaster and Mesquite. The district is the second-largest public school district in the state, and the 14th-largest district in the nation.
'Voters approved a $1.35 billion construction program in 2008 that has upgraded, renovated and expanded many existing facilities as well as built new schools. The goal is to provide more effective learning environments that are safe, welcoming and energy-efficient'.
Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best
Art and music are key to student development.
By Fran Smith
January 28, 2009
Related Tags: Arts Integration,After-School Learning,Teacher Development,All Grades,Arts
"Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life -- according to the report, they "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing," creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion. And strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind: From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. "Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,'' says Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.
It has become a mantra in education that No Child Left Behind, with its pressure to raise test scores, has reduced classroom time devoted to the arts (and science, social studies, and everything else besides reading and math). Evidence supports this contention -- we'll get to the statistics in a minute -- but the reality is more complex. Arts education has been slipping for more than three decades, the result of tight budgets, an ever-growing list of state mandates that have crammed the classroom curriculum, and a public sense that the arts are lovely but not essential.
This erosion chipped away at the constituencies that might have defended the arts in the era of NCLB -- children who had no music and art classes in the 1970s and 1980s may not appreciate their value now. "We have a whole generation of teachers and parents who have not had the advantage of arts in their own education,'' says Sandra Ruppert, director of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a national coalition of arts, business, education, philanthropic, and government organizations.
The Connection Between Arts Education and Academic Achievement
Yet against this backdrop, a new picture is emerging. Comprehensive, innovative arts initiatives are taking root in a growing number of school districts. Many of these models are based on new findings in brain research and cognitive development, and they embrace a variety of approaches: using the arts as a learning tool (for example, musical notes to teach fractions); incorporating arts into other core classes (writing and performing a play about, say, slavery); creating a school environment rich in arts and culture (Mozart in the hallways every day) and hands-on arts instruction. Although most of these initiatives are in the early stages, some are beginning to rack up impressive results. This trend may send a message to schools focused maniacally, and perhaps counterproductively, on reading and math.
"If they're worried about their test scores and want a way to get them higher, they need to give kids more arts, not less," says Tom Horne, Arizona's state superintendent of public instruction. "There's lots of evidence that kids immersed in the arts do better on their academic tests."
Education policies almost universally recognize the value of arts. Forty-seven states have arts-education mandates, forty-eight have arts-education standards, and forty have arts requirements for high school graduation, according to the 2007-08 AEP state policy database. The Goals 2000 Educate America Act, passed in 1994 to set the school-reform agenda of the Clinton and Bush administrations, declared art to be part of what all schools should teach. NCLB, enacted in 2001, included art as one of the ten core academic subjects of public education, a designation that qualified arts programs for an assortment of federal grants.
In a 2003 report, "The Complete Curriculum: Ensuring a Place for the Arts and Foreign Languages in American's Schools," a study group from the National Association of State Boards of Education noted that a substantial body of research highlights the benefits of arts in curriculum and called for stronger emphasis on the arts and foreign languages. As chairman of the Education Commission of the States from 2004 to 2006, Mike Huckabee, then governor of Arkansas, launched an initiative designed, according to commission literature, to ensure every child has the opportunity to learn about, enjoy, and participate directly in the arts.
Top-down mandates are one thing, of course, and implementation in the classroom is another. Whatever NCLB says about the arts, it measures achievement through math and language arts scores, not drawing proficiency or music skills. It's no surprise, then, that many districts have zeroed in on the tests. A 2006 national survey by the Center on Education Policy, an independent advocacy organization in Washington, DC, found that in the five years after enactment of NCLB, 44 percent of districts had increased instruction time in elementary school English language arts and math while decreasing time spent on other subjects. A follow-up analysis, released in February 2008, showed that 16 percent of districts had reduced elementary school class time for music and art -- and had done so by an average of 35 percent, or fifty-seven minutes a week.
Some states report even bleaker numbers. In California, for example, participation in music courses dropped 46 percent from 1999-2000 through 2000-04, while total school enrollment grew nearly 6 percent, according to a study by the Music for All Foundation. The number of music teachers, meanwhile, declined 26.7 percent. In 2001, the California Board of Education set standards at each grade level for what students should know and be able to do in music, visual arts, theater, and dance, but a statewide study in 2006, by SRI International, found that 89 percent of K-12 schools failed to offer a standards-based course of study in all four disciplines. Sixty-one percent of schools didn't even have a full-time arts specialist.
Nor does support for the arts by top administrators necessarily translate into instruction for kids. For example, a 2005 report in Illinois found almost no opposition to arts education among principals and district superintendents, yet there were large disparities in school offerings around the state.
Reviving Arts EducationIn many districts, the arts have suffered so long that it will take years, and massive investment, to turn things around. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has made arts education a priority in his school reform plans, and the city has launched sweeping initiatives to connect more students with the city's vast cultural resources. Nearly every school now offers at least some arts instruction and cultural programming, yet in 2007-08, only 45 percent of elementary schools and 33 percent of middle schools provided education in all four required art forms, according to an analysis by the New York City Department of Education, and only 34 percent of high schools offered students the opportunity to exceed the minimum graduation requirement.
Yet some districts have made great strides toward not only revitalizing the arts but also using them to reinvent schools. The work takes leadership, innovation, broad partnerships, and a dogged insistence that the arts are central to what we want students to learn.
In Dallas, for example, a coalition of arts advocates, philanthropists, educators, and business leaders have worked for years to get arts into all schools, and to get students out into the city's thriving arts community. Today, for the first time in thirty years, every elementary student in the Dallas Independent School District receives forty-five minutes a week of art and music instruction. In a February 2007 op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News, Gigi Antoni, president and CEO of Big Thought, the nonprofit partnership working with the district, the Wallace Foundation, and more than sixty local arts and cultural institutions, explained the rationale behind what was then called the Dallas Arts Learning Initiative: "DALI was created on one unabashedly idealistic, yet meticulously researched, premise -- that students flourish when creativity drives learning."
The Minneapolis and Chicago communities, too, are forging partnerships with their vibrant arts and cultural resources to infuse the schools with rich comprehensive, sustainable programs -- not add-ons that come and go with this year's budget or administrator.
In Arizona, Tom Horne, the state superintendant of public instruction, made it his goal to provide high-quality, comprehensive arts education to all K-12 students. Horne, a classically trained pianist and founder of the Phoenix Baroque Ensemble, hasn't yet achieved his objective, but he has made progress: He pushed through higher standards for arts education, appointed an arts specialist in the state Department of Education, and steered $4 million in federal funds under NCLB to support arts integration in schools throughout the state. Some have restored art and music after a decade without them.
"When you think about the purposes of education, there are three," Horne says. "We're preparing kids for jobs. We're preparing them to be citizens. And we're teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty. The third is as important as the other two."
Fran Smith is a contributing editor for Edutopia.
We are seeing of course the same thing happening in our 'public' K-12 that happened in our universities under Clinton------a broad administration is created to oversee tons of outsourced services and programs that are simply global corporations attached to our universities-----
THAT IS WHAT OBAMA AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS DID THESE SEVERAL YEARS WITH K-12 EDUCATION REFORM ---FROM EVALUATIONS AND TESTING----TO NOW PRIVATIZED ARTS AND HUMANITIES---SOON TO BE SOLD TP THE HIGHEST MARKET BASED PRICES.
Baltimore has one of the best art colleges in the US in MICA---now controlled by Johns Hopkins and attached to the Clinton Foundation ----so we have lots of students pressing for art funding AND THAT IS GOOD---WE LOVE THE ARTS. I am shouting to those students----you are being pushed into this cog of student internships and student loan repayments that have you spending too much of your time as volunteers and apprentices----and you need to be public school art and music teachers getting a good salary! Of course we want arts and music non-profits to augment this public school structure----NOT REPLACE IT.
As art and music school grads are being sold this global entrepreneur mess-----making them think they will be these corporate arts and music startups tied to public schools---there is a raging global education corporation in Asia already to come and take this market.
Of course, if you live in a corporate controlled governing city like Baltimore with a corporate school board----all appointed public school administrators will think all this is OK.
Public Schools Charge Kids for Basics, Frills
Updated May 25, 2011 12:01 a.m. ET MEDINA, Ohio
—Karen Dombi was thrilled when her three oldest children were picked for student government this year—not because she envisioned careers in politics, but because it was one of the few programs at their public high school that didn't charge kids to participate.
Medina City Schools are in deep financial trouble. To save their vaunted athletic and music programs, the district has enacted a policy that no one in the administration feels good about: Pay to play. WSJ's Stephanie Simon reports from Medina, Ohio.
Budget shortfalls have prompted Medina Senior High to impose fees on students who enroll in many academic classes and extracurricular activities. The Dombis had to pay to register their children for basic courses such as Spanish I and Earth Sciences, to get them into graded electives such as band, and to allow them to run cross-country and track. The family's total tab for a year of public education: $4,446.50.
"I'm wondering, am I going to be paying for my parking spot at the school? Because you're making me pay for just about everything else," says Ms. Dombi, a parent in this middle-class community in northern Ohio.
Public schools across the country, struggling with cuts in state funding, rising personnel costs and lower tax revenues, are shifting costs to students and their parents by imposing or boosting fees for everything from enrolling in honors English to riding the bus.
At high schools in several states, it can cost more than $200 just to walk in the door, thanks to registration fees, technology fees and unspecified "instructional fees."
Though public schools have long charged for extras such as driver's education and field trips, many are now asking parents to pay for supplies needed to take core classes—from biology-lab safety goggles to algebra workbooks to the printer ink used to run off grammar exercises in language arts. In some schools, each class comes with a price tag, to be paid at registration. Some schools offer installment plans for payment. Others accept credit cards—for a processing fee.
Public-school administrators say the fees—some of which are waived for low-income families—allow them to continue to offer specialty classes and activities that would otherwise fall to the budget ax. Some parents support that approach, saying they'd rather pay for honors physics or drama than see those opportunities eliminated altogether.
Some educators, too, argue that fees are good public policy. In a time of fiscal austerity, they say it's not fair to ask taxpayers to fund an all-inclusive education that offers Advanced Placement Art History, junior varsity golf and fourth-year German with little regard for the cost.
The proliferation of fees comes at a time when the cost of public education has been soaring. After adjusting for inflation, average spending per pupil has increased 44% over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Personnel costs—which amount to about 80% of expenses in many school districts—have driven some of the increase, along with increased costs for utilities and technology. The average salary for a public-school teacher nationally has jumped 26% since 2001, though that growth didn't quite keep pace with inflation.
At the same time, school revenue has plunged, mostly due to cutbacks in state funding. Squeezed by lower tax revenue and higher expenses for programs such as Medicaid, states have cut education funding by a collective $17 billion in the past two fiscal years, though some of that was backfilled by the federal stimulus.
Large additional cuts are on the table this fiscal year in many states, among them California, Texas, Florida and Colorado.
Nationally, district after district has eliminated or cut enrichment programs for gifted students, help for struggling readers, advanced math and science courses, music, art, foreign languages, drama, sports. Some have tried asking local residents to approve higher taxes, only to be shot down at the polls. So administrators say fees are the only way to stave off even more drastic cuts.
"Things are getting tighter," said Collene Van Noord, superintendent of the Palmyra Area School District in southeast Pennsylvania, which recently began charging $20 lab fees for many science, art and music courses. "If we can pass on the added costs for some of our more expensive courses to direct users, it seems more fair than to pass them on to the entire community" in the form of tax hikes, she said.
BAND FEE: $200. Because of new fees at Medina Senior High, Tessa Dombi, a freshman, had to choose between band and choir. Dombi Family Most states prohibit public schools from charging for core classes. But schools can generally charge for supplemental materials, a category that has been broadly defined. In Iowa, for instance, paper is considered "not essential to the teacher's presentation of a course," and thus need not be provided at public expense, the state Department of Education website explains.
A 52% increase in some fees this year at the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kan., means a typical high-school student now owes $235 at enrollment, plus supplies fees as high as $65 a class. The tab will be similar next year at Wheaton North High School in Wheaton, Ill., after a recent fee hike: $221 for baseline registration plus $150 per sport and class fees as high as $50 each.
Here in Medina, the charges imposed on the Dombi family's four children include $75 in generic school fees, $118.50 for materials used in biology, physics and other academic courses, $263 for Advanced Placement exams and $3,990 to participate in cross-country, track and band. That's not counting the $2,716.08 the Dombis paid in property taxes specifically earmarked for the schools.
Their oldest daughter, Tessa, loves to sing, but they told her she couldn't take a choir class this year, as it would add $200 to the bill. "It's high school," Ms. Dombi said. "You're supposed to be able to try different things and see what you like."
CROSS-COUNTRY FEE: $660. Zach Dombi chose track. Dombi Family Many states require schools to waive academic, but not extracurricular, fees for the poorest students, generally those with an annual income less than $29,000 a year for a family of four. Those above the cutoff, however, can be sanctioned if they don't pay in full. Schools may withhold their diplomas or ban them from commencement, which itself often carries a $30 to $60 "graduation fee."
Even when waivers are available, advocates for the low-income contend that it violates the spirit of a free public education when parents must, in effect, seek charity to pay for their child's math workbook. In California, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state for allowing districts to charge a wide array of fees.
Administrators and parents also worry that fees might affect some students' chances of getting into good colleges. Schools across the country now charge substantial "pay to play" fees not only for sports and arts programs, but also for more modest activities, including community service. Among the charges: $350 to join chess club, $200 to participate in Students Against Drunk Driving, $85 to write for the literary magazine—and $50 to clean up beaches with the Environmental Club.
Academic transcripts, too, can take a hit, as the most rigorous courses—the kind that impress college admissions officers—can be the most costly. At Marietta High in southeastern Ohio, it costs $33 to take chemistry, $36 for honors chemistry and $152 for the Advanced Placement course.
Dakota Ridge High in Littleton, Colo., charges sophomores $15 for basic 10th grade English but $50 for honors, which uses additional materials. Juniors can take basic English for $8 or pay $75—plus a test fee of about $90—for Advanced Placement English Literature.
Although most districts make just a small percentage of their overall budget from academic fees, administrators say the revenue allows them to replace worn textbooks, for example, or provide math workbooks that students can actually write in.
The jump in public-school fees has a back-to-the-future feel for New York University professor Jonathan Zimmerman, who studies the history of education. He's reminded, he said, of the early 19th century, when public schools drew on taxpayer support, but also often charged tuition. That practice began to shift in the 1840s with Horace Mann's drive for free "common schools."
Basic Registration Fees
Community Unit School District 200 – Wheaton, Ill.
Registration fee -- $95
Technology fee -- $15
Registration fee -- $175
Locker fee -- $6
Music fee -- $10
Technology fee -- $40
Graduation fee -- $30
Blue Valley School District – Overland Park, Kansas
Learning resources fee -- $100
Technology supply fee -- $15
Activity programming fee -- $120
U-46 High School District – Elgin, Ill.
Instructional fee -- $125
Locks -- $10
Student ID -- $5
Course Supplies FeesLakota Local Schools – Liberty Township, Ohio
English 9 -- $12
French IV -- $75
Honors Chemistry I -- $39.50
Physical Science 101 -- $25
AP Microeconomics -- $40
Bloom Township High School District – Chicago Heights, Ill.
Physics -- $13
AP Biology -- $34
Advanced Ceramics -- $25
Freshman P.E. -- $26
Dakota Ridge High School – Littleton, Colo.
English 9 – $18
Honors English 9 -- $38
Honors English 12 -- $59
AP English Literature -- $75
Chemistry -- $10
Honors Chemistry -- $20
AP Chemistry -- $40 plus book
German II -- $20
Leeds High School – Leeds, Ala.
Art -- $40
Business technology -- $25
Chemistry -- $25
Drafting -- $40
Marine Biology -- $25
Extracurricular Activities FeesArlington Public Schools – Arlington, Mass.
Cheerleading -- $408
Ice Hockey -- $720
Gymnastics -- $720
Wrestling -- $480
Lakeville North High School – Lakeville, Minn.
Debate -- $190
Fall Musical -- $110
Chess Club -- $150
Science Olympiad -- $150
Lenape Regional High School District – Shannon, N.J.
Activities fee -- $200 to participate in one or more activities including:
Students Against Drunk Driving
National Honor Society
Hamilton-Wenham High Regional High School -- South Hamilton, Mass.
Football -- $864
Volleyball -- $537
Baseball -- $591
Girls tennis -- $372
Boys tennis -- $239
Literary Magazine -- $85
World language club -- $71
School musical -- $200
Miscellaneous feesDouglas County School District – Castle Rock, Colo.
Riding school bus daily -- $180
Band uniform cleaning -- $15 / semester
U-46 High School District – Elgin, Ill.
Behind the wheel instruction -- $300
Textbook -- $20
Student parking permit -- $60
Though the right to free education is now enshrined as an American value, when written into state constitutions, it typically carries a qualifier: Students are entitled to a "suitable" or an "adequate" education on the public dime.
That has long been interpreted expansively. As far back as the 1920s, schools were offering a wide variety of courses designed to serve many aptitudes and interests, Mr. Zimmerman said.
Today, however, educators and lawmakers are wondering if that's sustainable—or necessary. As the population ages and fewer voters have children in the public schools, some communities are questioning whether an "adequate" education really requires the public to fund a full menu of arts courses, or advanced science classes that may draw just a handful of kids, or a debate club or a gymnastics team.
Seeking to define the extent of taxpayers' obligation, Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal suggests that "what should be required is more than the 3 Rs, but it is decidedly less than everything school districts choose to offer."
In Medina, a quaint town midway between Cleveland and Akron, school costs had risen 23% over five years to $75 million in 2010, after the district opened two new elementary schools to meet projected enrollment increases. Last year, revenue fell sharply after state funding was cut.
To shave costs, the Medina school board eliminated 106 teaching positions, or 20% of the teaching staff, over two years. Class size increased—from 25 kids per teacher, to 31 or 32. Many AP science and math classes were eliminated, along with the German and French programs. The district also reduced its offerings in art, music and other electives.
To further bring down expenses, the teacher's union agreed last summer to $1 million in concessions, taking a 2.45% pay raise instead of the scheduled 3.45% raise and boosting their contributions to their health coverage from $80 a month for a family plan to $215 a month. These moves, combined with the layoffs, have saved the district nearly $3 million, cutting the 2011 budget by 4%, to $71 million. The district's average cost for teacher salary plus benefits is about $68,000.
The district also sought to raise revenue. Three years in a row, voters were asked to approve higher property taxes to stave off steep cuts to athletic and arts programs. Three years in a row, voters said no.
"We can't afford to get our teeth fixed because it's too expensive," said Joyce Harris, who is 70 and voted against the proposed tax hike. "If we have our taxes go up to pay for little Joey's football, that's not exactly fair."
So the district turned to parents for financial help. Starting last winter, Medina began charging $660 to play a high-school sport, $200 to join the concert choir and $50 to act in the spring play.
Large families didn't get a break. Neither did poor families, though 16% of Medina students are considered economically disadvantaged.
There were to be no waivers, for any reason.
The extracurricular fees, meant to raise $1 million for the district, had immediate impact. The track team, for instance, shrank from 191 to 92 student athletes. "It's like half your family is suddenly gone," said 15-year-old Tessa, a runner.
Some academic costs also jumped. The school cut advanced calculus to save money, so a handful of top students were left with no math class. Worried that would look bad on her son's college applications, Cindy Fotheringham shelled out $850—plus $150 for books—to enroll him in an online calculus class. At the elementary school level, many parents will pay $30 per student next year to cover math workbooks and writing journals, which will bring in about $68,000 for the district.
Administrators say the cuts and fees prompted about 100 students to switch to private schools.
But the fees have brought a few unanticipated benefits. Though participation in athletics and music is down, those who remain are more committed than ever, according to some teachers. Many teens have taken jobs to help pay for their activities and say they're proud of their new responsibilities.
While it has pained him to put price tags on so much of the public-school experience, Superintendent Randy Stepp said the new cost structure may not be all bad.
"Students have to realize, as our country is realizing, that you can't have everything," Mr. Stepp said. "We all have to make tough choices." HOGWASH MR STEPP!
Below you see what Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons are working as hard as they can to bring to US public K-university-----and Asian parents have struggled with this for the decades of having neo-liberal education installed in their economies in US International Economic Zones overseas. This is what global pols are installing these few decades-----Clinton/Bush torn down our strong US public education structures----and now Obama and Clinton neo-liberals are funding the building of these global corporate neo-liberal structures in the US.
In US cities already having installed International Economic Zone structures of extreme wealth with lots of foreign rich oligarchs---like NYC and San Francisco----it is the Asian families filling all of these for-profit arts and music structures -----Hopkins now controls our world famous music conservatory Peabody=====and as friends of mine in both San Francisco and Baltimore are saying----most of their students are Asian---because they come to the US affording these structures being built by Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons.
THE COSTS GO FROM BEING SUBSIDIZED AND OPEN TO ALL-----TO BEING MARKET-BASED IN CITY CENTERS FILLED WITH THE WORLD'S RICH.
This has not just started----this has been life for Asian citizens under neo-liberal education policy for a few decades now with US global education corporations leading in taking these parents' income.
Asia’s parents suffering 'education fever'
By Yojana Sharma . BBC News
- 22 October 2013
- From the section Business
Not sports stars, but Chinese parents seeing off their children to take exams
Zhang Yang, a bright 18-year old from a rural town in Anhui province in China was accepted to study at a prestigious traditional medicine college in Hefei. But the news was too much for his father Zhang Jiasheng.
Zhang's father was partly paralysed after he suffered a stroke two years ago and could no longer work. He feared the family, already in debt to pay for medicines, would not be able to afford his son's tuition fees.
As his son headed home to celebrate his success, Zhang Jiasheng killed himself by swallowing pesticide.
Zhang's case is an extreme. But East Asian families are spending more and more of their money on securing their children the best possible education.
In richer Asian countries such as South Korea and emerging countries like China, "education fever" is forcing families to make choices, sometimes dramatic ones, to afford the bills.
There are families selling their apartments to raise the funds to send their children to study overseas.
'Extreme spending'Andrew Kipnis, an anthropologist at Australian National University and author of a recent book on the intense desire for education in China, says the amount spent on education is "becoming extreme".
Parents of students starting at Huazhong Normal University sleep in the gym
It is not just middle-class families. Workers also want their children to do better than themselves and see education as the only means of ensuring social mobility. Some go deep into debt.
"Families are spending less on other things. There are many cases of rural parents not buying healthcare that their doctors urge on them... Part of the reason is that they would rather spend the money on their children's education," said Mr Kipnis.
"Parents may be forced to put off building a new house, which they might have been able to do otherwise," said Mr Kipnis who did the bulk of his research in Zouping district in Shandong province, among both middle-class and rural households.
"It can be very intense. They often borrow from relatives. Of course some people have difficulty paying it back," said Mr Kipnis.
A Euromonitor survey found that per capita annual disposable income in China rose by 63.3% in the five years to 2012, yet consumer expenditure on education rose by almost 94%.
It's not just the parents' incomes. Educating a child has become an extended-family project. "It goes beyond tiger mothers, it also includes tiger grandmothers and grandfathers," said Todd Maurer, an expert on education in Asia and partner at the consultancy firm, Sinica Advisors.
There is evidence of high levels of education spending in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Spending is also increasing in India and Indonesia.
South Korean parents bring their children to a smartphone addiction clinic
In South Korea, where the government believes "education obsession" is damaging society, family expenditure on education has helped push household debt to record levels.
According to the LG Economic Research Institute, 28% of South Korean households cannot afford monthly loan repayments, and are hard pressed to live off their incomes.
A huge proportion of that income - 70% of Korean household expenditure, according to estimates by the Samsung Economic Research Institute in Seoul, goes toward private education, to get an educational edge over other families.
Families cut back on other household spending "across the board," said Michael Seth, professor of Korean history at James Madison University in the US and author of a book on South Korea's education zeal. "There is less money to spend on other things like housing, retirement, or vacations."
"Every developing country in Asia, specially China, seems to have a similar pattern," said Prof Seth.
A highly competitive examination system and rising aspirations are often blamed.
"The Korean education system puts enormous pressure on children," said Prof Seth." The only way to opt out of the system is not to have children. It is so expensive to educate a child that it is undoubtedly a factor in South Korea's very low birth rate," he said.
The education obsession is so all consuming that the South Korean government has unsuccessfully tried to curb it, concerned about family spending on extra-curricular lessons and cram schools for ferociously competitive exams.
While not yet at South Korean levels, China's education fever also puts pressure on family spending. A recent survey by market research company Mintel, found that nine out of 10 children from middle class families in China attended fee-charging after-school activities.
Monitoring radio signals to catch hi-tech exam cheats in Shandong province Parents believe these activities will help their children when it comes to university entry.
Children are being tutored for longer, starting younger. Where before it was for a year or two before the university entrance exam, now it can start in middle school or even primary.
Matthew Crabbe, Asia research director at Mintel, says that people in China are using the savings that might have been put aside for healthcare.
"But because the cost of education has risen and the competition for places at good universities have become so much more intense, they are investing more of their savings to make sure the child can get the grades they would need to get in."
It does not stop there. Nearly 87% of Chinese parents said they were willing to fund study abroad.
In the past an overseas education was confined to the most privileged. Now many more want foreign degrees to give them a shortcut to success.
According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a third of Chinese students studying abroad in 2010 were from working-class families.
A fire brigade's personnel carrier is used to make sure a flood does not prevent pupils getting to an exam in Ergun, northern China
This is a massive financial burden and parents may not realise the true costs.
According to Zhang Jianbai who runs a private school in Yunnan province, parents in small provincial cities often sell their apartments to fund their children's study overseas.
"Parents decide very early on that their children are going to go abroad and that requires quite a bit of money because [the preparation] cannot be acquired through the public education system," said Mr Maurer.
It can include intensive English lessons, study tours to the US and significant payments for student recruitment agents.
Last year an estimated 40,000 Chinese students travelled to Hong Kong to take the US college admissions exam, the Scholastic Assessment Test (SATS), which is not offered in mainland China.
Chinese education company, New Oriental Education, organises SAT trips to Hong Kong for $1,000 (£627) on average, and parents spend up to $8,000 (£5,020) on tutoring.
Gambling on results
Once confined to affluent Beijing and Shanghai, it is an expanding market. The company expects its revenue to grow by over 40% in China's second and third tier cities.
Fudan University, Shanghai: Seven million Chinese youngsters graduated this year "Parents are surrendering their last resources to wager them on a child's future by sending them abroad," said Lao Kaisheng, an education policy researcher at Capital Normal University in Beijing.
It means that when young people graduate there is great pressure on them to start earning.
This is particularly an issue as record numbers of students graduate, seven million this year, and an overseas degree no longer has the status it had in the past. Many graduates languish in non-graduate jobs.
But it is not easy to dampen education fever. In South Korea as in other East Asian countries, "it is deeply embedded in the culture. It's also based on reality that there is no alternative pathway to success or a good career other than a prestige degree, this was true 50 years ago, and it's just as true today".
"As long as that's the case it's actually rational for parents to spend so much and put so much pressure on their children," said Prof Seth.
How much is 'education fever' a problem? Is it putting too much pressure on children and parents? Or should we see it as a sign of how much Asian families want their children to succeed?
'Extreme spending' for for-profit K-12 education'
The American people have always had capitalist economies---we don't care if people get rich----we care that our strong public K-universities are being attacked and dismantled so over 80% of Americans will never access liberal arts and humanities----while all the taxes we pay at Federal, state, and local levels go to subsidizing now education corporations working that 'MARKET-BASED PRICING'.......
Art and music school students need to WAKE UP====this is not about building startup entrepreneur businesses----these global education corporations already exist in Asian International Economic Zones and are simply slated to come to the US and take what Obama and Clinton neo-liberals are posing progressive in bringing to underserved schools in cities slated as US International Economic Zones.
Look at the public school structures being dismantled and outsourced---from school nurse to school social workers----to school art and music teachers---and soon our school physical education teachers=====this is the outsourcing to kill our public K-12 schools...AND OF COURSE BALTIMORE CITY IS FULL OF THIS.
Will less art and music in the classroom really help students soar academically?
By Tyleah Hawkins December 28, 2012
Journalism students at Howard University’s school of communications were deeply engaged in this year’s presidential campaign as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney battled for the White House. The students wrote widely about the candidates and the issues. Some traveled to Ohio, a key battleground state, and wrote about classmates who canvassed voters there as volunteers for the Obama campaign.
Others wrote about college students struggling to pay rising tuitions after their parents had lost jobs and homes to foreclosures. One student wrote about black Republicans who supported Romney and their status as double minorities – minorities within the Republican Party and among black voters who largely supported Obama. Throughout the year, students reported on the economic and social challenges that working people and poor communities were facing, issues that were being neglected by candidates singularly focused on the needs of the middle class.
And on Election Day, the students covered everything from problem-plagued polling stations to election night parties and spontaneous street festivities in front of the White House. The Root DC is publishing some of the students’ work, starting with the story below by Tyleah Hawkins, a sophomore, about the impact of funding cuts to public school arts programs in poor communities.
Schools across the country have slashed their arts programs in the wake of major funding cuts by state governments struggling to balance their budgets during the economic downturn.
(Oscar Perez/Associated Press)
As a result, schools in areas serving children from low-income families have reduced or completely cut their arts and music programs. These programs tend to be the first casualties of budget cuts in hard-pressed school districts already struggling to meet other demands of the academic curriculum, and they are rarely restored. Some school districts don’t have much meat left to cut from arts programs that had already been reduced to bare bones after repeated funding shortfalls over many years.
“The cuts that have been occurring for the past couple of decades ... however, with this recession, many arts advocates such as myself do not have a clue when some programs will be brought back,” said Narric Rome, senior director of Federal Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts, a national organization that promotes the arts. “The entire system is very unstable; teachers are laid off one school year and brought back the next, or most times not brought back at all. If we are lucky enough to bring these programs back, they won’t be for a couple of years. Which means some students who are in school during these difficult economic times will completely miss out on the benefits of arts education.”
Although arts and music programs tend to be seen as less important than reading, math or science, research has shown that arts education is academically beneficial.
“Low-income students who had arts-rich experiences in high schools were more than three times as likely to earn a B.A. as low-income students without those experiences. And the new study from the National Endowment reports that low-income high school students who earned few or no arts credits were five times more likely not to graduate from high school than low-income students who earned many arts credits,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a report titled “Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 2009-10.”
The arts have also proven to be a form of inspiration and expression for at-risk students, especially those in inner-city schools, and have been shown to improve their outlook on education.
According to a study titled “The Role of the Fine and Performing Arts in High School Dropout Prevention,” by the Center for Music Research at Florida State University, “Students at risk of not successfully completing their high school educations cite their participation in the arts as reasons for staying in school. Factors related to the arts that positively affected the motivation of these students included a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one where it is safe to take risks.”
Organizations such as ArtsEdSearch, an online clearinghouse that collects and summarizes high quality arts education research studies and analyzes their implications for educational policy and practice, have done private research about the issue. AEP Executive Director Sandra Ruppert said that the findings in the report point to the power of the arts to lead the way in helping every child realize success in schools
“This is especially true for underserved students who benefit most significantly from arts learning but are the least likely to receive a high-quality arts education,” Ruppert said.
Research has also shown that arts education helps improve standardized test scores. A study done by The College Board, a nonprofit association that works to make sure all students in the American educational system are college-ready, found that students who take four years of arts and music classes while in high school score 91 points better on their SAT exams than students who took only a half year or less (scores averaged 1070 among students in arts educations compared to 979 for students without arts education.)
“Arts education gives children a place where they can express themselves and channel negative emotion into something positive. Students are well-rounded and required to be academically healthy in all subjects to perform. To be honest, what is learned in music education is truly immeasurable,” said Barbara Benglian, the 2006 Pennsylvania state teacher of the year. Benglian has been teaching at Upper Darby High school in Drexel Hill, Pa., for nearly 40 years. Her school was one of the many schools at risk of losing their arts programs due to low test scores. However, the arts programs at the school were saved after parents, students and alumni organized petitions and protests rallies. Even Upper Darby alumnus and actress Tina Fey jumped on board to help save the arts program. Other schools around the country are not as fortunate.
Several Howard University students who participated in music and arts education in grade school and high school speak fondly of the positive effect it has had on their lives.
“In elementary school, music sparked my interest and led me to playing the trumpet. It gave me the opportunity to travel to places I otherwise would not have gone, and most importantly, helped me become more culturally accepting by broadening my musical horizons,” said Joe Williams, a junior majoring in psychology. “Without music, I would not be as open as I am to learning about new people.”
Nate Shellton, a sophomore, chose to dedicate his life to the arts by majoring in acting.
“I think it’s absolutely outrageous that fine arts are the first to be cut in public schools,” he said. “It says a lot about what is important to education in America. Because math and science is what is being tested, tests that determine a school’s ranking is what is most important to the school, but the institutions’ ranking is not necessarily what’s in the best interest of the students as a whole person.”
STEM is just a gimmick to install this corporate education structure in university-----public schools around the nation are now placing all emphasis on STEM------to the detriment of liberal arts and humanities AND THAT IS THE GOAL. STEM are simply courses that have always been taught in public schools----they are already fact-based so we don't need Common Core to standardize them------we simply need the same well-funded and resourced public university that had public school grads filling all levels of corporations tied to the industrial revolution, the super-sizing of the US military complex, and the early tech industry evolution. PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE THE INCUBATORS OF STRONG STEM EDUCATION WITHOUT ALL THESE PRIVATIZED VOCATIONAL TRACKING SYSTEMS......these privatized corporate vocational tracking systems are only global corporations coming in and taking our public schools and tying our children to corporate profits minus the broad humanities and liberal arts that are needed for strong citizenship participation and corporate leadership.
IT'S OK THAT WE ARE TAKING LIBERAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES OUT OF K-12 CURRICULA---LOOK---THERE THEY ARE IN AFTER SCHOOL NON-PROFITS SAY THE WOLVES TO THE SHEEP.
Oh, The Humanities! Why STEM shouldn't take Precedence over the Arts
As much trouble as the education industry is in, every state continues to witness the dissolving of the very funds intended to help it. Major cuts in education have been directed toward the arts and humanities where millions of students are being deprived of these subjects and outlets. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 1.5 million elementary students are without music, nearly 4 million are without the visual arts, and almost 100% of them, more than 23 million, are educated without dance and theatre.
Government Push for STEM
While the Department of Education (DoE) attempts to find a one-size-fits-all solution for more than 14,000 public school districts through its Common Core Standards, the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) have been placed as the focal point for education, well ahead of arts and humanities.
Dave Csintyan, CEO of the educational non-profit organization See the Change USA, feels taking away from the arts and humanities programs is the wrong answer but said the push for STEM may actually have a positive effect on arts and humanities students who are exposed to STEM learning.
"Rigorous STEM exposure is equally applicable to professional success no matter the field of choice," he said.
Education reform has been a major part of Barack Obama’s presidency, who has proposed a bill called the STAPLE Act, which would provide immigrant PhD students in STEM fields a green card upon graduation. The argument is that these students, who commonly return to their home country to develop companies and businesses, should be given the option to remain in America and help boost the economy.
This potential law is a major player in the push for STEM. It voices the government’s insistence that the education system is not producing enough Master’s and PhD STEM graduates.
But the major push for STEM education in America may, in fact, not be that necessary after all. A Georgetown University, Rutgers University, and Urban Institute-collaborated study found that "U.S. colleges and universities are graduating as many scientists and engineers as ever before…[and the] findings indicate that STEM retention along the pipeline shows strong and even increasing rates of retention from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Over the past decade, U.S. colleges and universities graduated roughly three times more scientists and engineers than were employed in the growing science and engineering workforce."
It seems the great migration toward STEM by the government will indeed have adverse effects and not solely in regards to the cuts in education funds. There is the economic impact to consider, as well.
The Americans for the Arts Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study showed that the nonprofit arts and culture industry accounts for more than four million full-time jobs and more than $135 billion in economic activity. It also generates over $22 billion in revenue for local, state, and federal governments each year.
But access to the arts for students of all ages continues to shrink as more government officials continue to solely invest in STEM, forcing the arts and humanities to fend for themselves.
According to Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, picking a degree shouldn’t be up to the student. It should be up to what is best for the student, or at least what he thinks is best for the student.
"I want to spend our money getting people science, technology, engineering and math degrees," he said in a radio interview on WNDB-AM in Daytona Beach. "That’s what our kids need to focus all of their time and attention on: those type of degrees that when they get out of school, they can get a job."
Stronger Together Than Apart
Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, said he doesn’t think arts and humanities students are being turned off from pursuing those particular degrees, although some of the recent press may help sway some of their decisions – in particular articles about salary comparisons.
"The social sciences — communications, pre-law, journalism — continue to be very popular," he said.
As much as the DoE encourages the increase in STEM, it is aware that education needs the influence of the arts and humanities.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences formed its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at the request of Congress. The group, comprised of scientists, engineers, leading business executives, philanthropists, jurists, artists, and journalists, were asked to find the answers to a question posed by Congress: What actions should government officials take to maintain national excellence in humanities and social science education in order to better improve the economy and civil society?
Darr believes it is a mistake to try to separate STEM and the social sciences. He said they are both stronger together.
Recent moves by government officials looking to improve education, however, have done just that via budget cuts.
One of the more obvious statements in the STEM push is the Obama Administration’s Race to the Top initiative, which places all 50 states in an academic competition to be the best and be eligible for additional education funding, has STEM emphasis as one of its seven point factors. Arts and humanities, however, is not on the list.
Many have gravitated to the idea that STEM is the best source for innovation and job creation. But according to the Americans for the Arts organization, their studies show that children involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair.
These same students are also three times more likely to be elected to class office in their school, giving them early leadership skills and making them more apt to become leaders in the business world.
Karl Eikenberry, a fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, former ambassador to Afghanistan and a retired general was reported saying during a CHSS discussion at Stanford that knowledge of history, foreign languages and cultures can help America more successfully navigate the increasing number of multinational issues that need multinational solutions.
The need for advancements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will never cease, as will the need for the study of social sciences like human behavior, languages, linguistics, and philosophy. The answer is the continual interworking of both.
"The new economy requires that we continue to improve and encourage STEM education because mastering existing and new technologies is vital," said Edward Abeyta, director of K-16 Programs at the University of California-San Diego Extension. "It also requires that arts be included in the curricula to capture the full potential of the whole-brain."
He said the education industry needs to take a STEAM approach.
"It is using the combination of all these capabilities that drives creativity and innovation," he said of STEAM. "The future economic cost of not having a whole brain education system that fosters creativity and innovation is immense. It requires retraining instructors to teach how to deal with ambiguities and nuances – how to think creatively and how to construct or deal with abstract issues instead of so much of the emphasis being on teaching facts. Teachers will need to teach our students to ‘think’ – not memorize."
One of the major components of STEM is rote memorization which can hinder a student’s ability to think freely on subjects. When social sciences and arts are provided, students are able to understand problems rather than simply accepting solutions.
Even if the STEAM approach is best, funding cuts to arts and humanities programs remain an inescapable reality. In the face of such cuts, arts and humanities students will have less career counseling and professional guidance in school than their STEM peers. As such, these students need to become their own career coaches and figure out for themselves how to convince employers of the relevance and value of their degrees.
How Humanities Students Can Help Themselves
Humanities students need to educate themselves on how to communicate their abilities and ideas. Also, having a firm business foundation along with understanding the importance of their own craft is essential to impressing an employer and landing a job.
Darr said students must place themselves in the best position to secure a job coming out of college and gave some tips on how to do it:
- Keep a portfolio of your work. Through your education, internships, and early career, continue to catalog documents, audio and video recorded projects, and any other materials showing your work. Not having proof that you are talented in your field can be costly.
- For those in the arts field, creating a portfolio of your work – whether art, music, film – gives employers an insight into your established work and where you are headed in your field. The portfolio needs to show the quality and complexity of your work and how it has progressed over time. A portfolio should mimic a timeline providing visual evidence of professional growth.
- Get an internship – at all costs. Earning a degree is a must, but obtaining internship work related to your industry is vital. When applying for a job, nearly every professional opening requires some experience. It is very important to have on a resume to show that you have some idea of what it is to work in your area. Even a short history of understanding how to conduct social science research or working in an arts industry is steps ahead of someone who only has a degree. A philosophy major may consider interning with a law firm or a consulting firm to become comfortable in a business environment.
- Take classes that help you become a good communicator. At the end of your college career, take a course on communication, preferably one that will count toward your degree. Most degree programs give students the ability to take upper level courses of their choosing. For example, a student studying philanthropy may consider taking a business course to help them understand the business side of non-profit work.
- To fully participate in today’s society, you need to have some knowledge of technology – even if you’re a fine arts student. Most schools offer courses in social media. Knowing how to use and manage social networking sites will go a long way in helping you land a career job.
"The idea that we must choose between science and humanities," Abeyta said, "is false."