Thursday, March 21, 2013
Arts vs Tests- The Logic of a Plutocracy Reproducing Itsel
Whenever I tell someone in influence that we need to restore the great music programs that were in the the New York City public schools from the mid 40's through the mid 70's along with the "night centers" that kept every elementary school in city open from 3-5 and 7-9 five days a week, they always tell me "those are too expensive;" but somehow, the NYC Department of Education always finds enough money for new tests and for consultants to evaluate schools and teachers. Except when it comes to their own children's education, school reformers always seem to prefer tests over arts, sports, and community building. Exposing the cynical logic underlying that choice is what education activists must do, day in day out. The more arts are forced out of the schools and the gyms and auditoriums in schools are kept shuttered to the community when school hours end, the more we can be sure that the prisons of the future will have an ample supply of inmates and that graduates of elite private schools will have little competition for leadership positions. Current education policy represents the logic of a Plutocracy reproducing itself.