But she thinks the cosmos are part of Kramer's clan, can't sing a song, and (correctly?) believes The Odd Couple is Bush and Cheney. Oh, and she's hungry.
I've worked in several schools for several years. I have kids of my own. Without the very programs that have been cut, and this is depressingly obvious to those of us who witness it firsthand, kids become limited in ways that the shortsighted backers of No Child Left Behind either choose to ignore, won't admit, or simply can't recognize. Plus, every teacher I know hates it.
In the five years since a federal law mandated an expansion of reading and math tests, 44 percent of school districts nationwide have made deep cutbacks in social studies, science, art and music lessons in elementary grades and have even slashed lunchtime, a new survey has found.
The most detailed look at the rapidly changing American school day, in a report released today, found that most districts sharply increased time spent on reading and math.
The arts result in more creative, expansive, sharper minds and attitudes. Integrated into academic subjects, they bring dry subjects alive and make facts more memorable. Music and theatre allow developing minds to learn, flex, and even cope with emotions that they might otherwise be oblivious to. Science enhances logical thinking, to balance the emotional. I don't need to go on, you know all of this.
I'm not a credentialed teacher. I speak as someone who has worked in the classroom, partnered with a teacher, in theatre and fine arts. I have witnessed the increasing inability of kids to analyze, let alone comprehend, anything deeper than their iPods (Music!) and cell phones (Writing skills! "u r 2 kul, lol!").
My concerns are genuine; communication skills are vital. Without a well-rounded education, the quality of life is diminished. Coincidentally, in the past 5-6 years, I've witnessed a decline in commitment, focus, ability to communicate effectively (including spelling and grammar) if at all, and most disturbingly, an inability to effectively recognize and tap into one's own emotions.
Most have forgotten how to "pretend" or how to use their imaginations.
"No Child Left Behind". Many of us can read those words, but how many of our kids can understand them, explain them, or have a heartfelt response to them?
And while we're at it, let's give 'em a longer lunch break.