Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another good reason to homeschool

Articles like this remind me why my children have never gone to public school.

The whole article and its links are worth looking at. The author's style makes it a little messy to excerpt with so many cross references. I tried to pull out some of the main points.

The Hijacking of Art Education

Parents and others who think that children are mainly learning about painting and drawing in today's art classrooms should consider this: a movement has for some time been afoot to hijack art education for purposes of often radical political indoctrination.....

"Art Education and Social Justice": The 2010 NAEA Convention

(National Art Education Association)

One of the chief sources cited in the 2010 NAEA program coordinator's notes is a White House Briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, [and] National Recovery held in May 2009. According to a published report, the purpose of the briefing was, in part, to determine "how the remarkable mobilizing power of community arts can be used by the Obama administration as a tool and a pathway for national recovery" and "to identify existing efforts within the cultural and social justice movements that are in alignment with the national agenda . . . on such issues as green jobs, health care and economic justice."

...Greene Grants [Maxine Greene Foundation for Social Imagination, the Arts, and Education] of up to $10,000 are awarded to teachers who "go beyond the standardized and the ordinary"; artists "whose works embody fresh social visions"; and individuals "who radically challenge or alter the public's imagination about social policy issues." The 2008 grantees included the Education for Liberation Network--whose 2007 conference, entitled "Free Minds, Free People: A Conference on Education for Liberation," bore the following slogan on its program cover: "If education is not given to the people, they will have to take it."

The source of that quote is Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Latin American [communist] revolutionary.

Oh, but it gets better. William Ayers is on the board of directors for the Greene Foundation.

Quinn [Theresa Quinn] is the author of "Out of Cite [sic], Out of Mind: Social Justice and Art Education," one of the sources cited by the NAEA regarding its 2010 convention theme. (Quinn also co-authored another of those sources with Ayers, and will co-present the aforementioned Freedom School session with him.) Quinn's article could well be regarded as sounding the keynote for the conference. Tellingly, she spends most of her 20-page paper discussing the concept of social justice and almost none of it discussing art.

In Quinn's view, social justice encompasses both "recognition and redistribution" (a phrase borrowed from feminist theorist Nancy Fraser). The concept of redistribution, Quinn explains, refers to "the equitable allocation of resources"--a goal implying that government should intervene to ensure equality of results.

....A National Education Taskforce (NET) headed by Dennis Fehr--an associate professor of "visual studies" at Texas Tech University--has proposed inserting new language into the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), requiring both the study of "visual culture" and the "examination of social justice and ethical questions posed by artworks."

The good news is that with all the budget cuts in school, hopefully these types of art programs will get cut.

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