Monday, March 3, 2008

Turn The Funds Around

The other day in Global class we were dicussing the recent bugdet cuts for our schools. Because we were studying communism in China my teacher asked, "what would Mao do?" In his opinion, Mao would take the arts out of my school (LaGuardia.) Why should I get to go to a performing arts school with an enormous amount of resources when other kids can barely get books in their classrooms? he asked.

This got me thinking. I am not one to underestimate the importance of arts in a school, so this idea was very disturbing to me. I came to the conclusion that what our schools really need is a redistribution of funds. We spend millions of dollars a year paying Princeton Review, McGraw Hill and other companies for our standarized tests and regents. If we cut down on this, massive amounts of money could go towards art in school.

School Quality Reviews also drain education funds enormously. Reviewers are usually outsiders who know very little about our schools. They are paid tons of money to look through files and attempt at an evaluation.

For the last year or so education reporters seem to be repeating the terms "accountability", "transparency" and "cutting extracurriculur activities." It seems like the more "transparent" our schools become the more devestating the image becomes. So maybe its time to take away some money used to judge teachers, students and principals in meaningless ways and give the schools something to show off. (Like the awesome talent show LaGuardia just produced from its remaining money. Talk about school spirit!)

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