Sunday, June 22, 2008

Open Thread Sunday!

"Open Thread" is a place for you to tell me what you would like to see on this site. What can I do to make it more user-friendly, topics you would like to see discussed in the future, questions or concerns. If I missed your questions on another thread, please direct me to them here.

So here you go, give me your feedback.


Anonymous said...

I would like to see an investigation into the current state of the fine and performing arts programs in Charles County Public Schools. We frequently hear from Administrators and the press how important the arts are to the CCPS and how strong our programs are. If all you see is a band and choir perform "America the Beautiful" at graduation, you might easily think this.

But our performing arts programs have been shrinking year after year and very little is being done about it. There have been a few "band aid" solutions such as making certain performing arts classes weighted grades, to off-set the negative GPA effects of staying in the arts for all four years of high school.

However, this only address one small part of a much greater problem. There are loads of horror stories out there from elementary students missing their band class for four consecutive weeks (to receive test prep no less!) to high school students being ACTIVELY recruited OUT of arts classes by both counselors and administrators.

Parents, students, and teachers have been talking about these problems for years. I have personally met with school level administrators and Starkey building officials about this problem. Many of us who see the decline in the program have hypothesized two possibilities:

1) the people "at the top" never hear the negative info for fear of making the county look bad and the info stays lodged in the "middle manger" level


2) the people "at the top" do know,...and just don't care.

Ms. Abell, I'd like to know,...which is it?

Anonymous said...

Ask how many band and chorus teachers leave or get fired after a year or two.
The board puts warm bodies in many of these positions, some out of nepotism, some due to panic (the year is about to start), and incredibly hard slots to fill, knowing the type of students (trouble makers) signing up for these classes.

People constantly shifting positions, either to administration trouble, or lack of quality students, do not allow for the building up of programs.
The board knows damned well what goes on.

We don't live in New York, Indiana, Illinois, or the like, so you can't expect high quality. It's not going to happen.

How many students receive full scholarships to Peabody, Juilliard, University of Indiana, Berklee, etc?
Yes, there are gobs of horror stories. It is up to the parent to bring those stories forward, either to the newspaper, or a formal complaint to menc, etc.

Call the board and ask how many teachers have either asked or will receive a transfer for the coming year. Ask how many music teachers are leaving the county.

This will open your eyes.

Jennifer said...

Anonymous 1 & 2,
I'm not ignoring your concerns but have forwarded them to the board and staff for input. Thanks for your patience.