With friends like these . . .

On Monday, our Texas legislature began to chew on declining enrollment in arts classes among Texas schoolchildren. Author Dan Pink, in Austin to address the Texas Association of School Administrators, told a group of lawmakers that there is too much focus on routine and standardization and "getting the right answer," and today’s schools are "preparing kids for my past rather than their future." Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Florence Shapiro, (R-Plano), who hosted the session with Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, said it is too early to say how the Legislature might accomplish the goal of integrating fine arts and the core subjects, but that the first step will be a new accountability system, Shapiro said, "will give us the opportunity to utilize the fine arts as we have never done before."

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One response to “With friends like these . . .”

  1. There was an interesting piece about this very topic on NPR this a.m. and I was absolutely fascinated. I’m not sure I know who they were interviewing and if I have time, I’ll got to the KUHF.org website to see if I can find it. The person they were interviewing had this truly interesting and innovative idea, (interesting and innovative in my opinion), that somehow Art and Artistic works would be a very large part of the day to day work of future generations. Basically as I heard it, he was saying that while today’s workforce is involved in crunching facts and figures into/out of desktop boxes, that future workers would be generating value added products and that the “value” added would be artistic. I can’t quite get my mind around that. Then there’s the idea that we want to integrate arts into core subjects. That’s a great idea if you can get there.

    My sense of this world and what future my children/grand children may have in it is that if as a society we merely continue with the “American Industrial Nightmare” environment, future generations may be so dehumanized that annialation (sp) will look like relief. All I see when I look around me is modern american workshop ware house. In many respects, we’re not much different from the society of the old Soviet Union, just a bit more colorful. We wonder why our city scapes don’t more resemble the more visually appealing European models but we keep building concrete boxes. Everything is square. There’s no use or very limited use of arches, backdrops, framing, silhouette, (sp), etc. It’s dismal.

    In a future world of dwindling resources and imposed material shortage, however can our children/grand children find any meaning to a life in souless concrete boxes? More video games, worse, more violent nhilistic video games, destroy a soul renderning it incapable of higher expression. Life shouldn’t be about bullets, bombs and napalm, (there’s a song in there somewhere).

    Build an arch and you build a window on the soul.

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