Archive for Thursday, March 11, 2004

Board makes weak case

March 11, 2004

In a recent discussion about the possibility of eliminating fifth-grade band, it was reported De Soto USD 232 Board of Education member Sandra Thierer said her concern was for the students left in a non-productive classroom when musically motivated students went to band.
Thierer said students not in band were left in what amounted to study hall. "I'm not pro getting rid of band. I'm pro we give kids productive class time," she was reported to say.
Where are they to think with all the staff they have, including administrators, that they cannot come up with a challenging and educational plan to help toward the "No Child Left Behind Act" for those two hours? Where even is the teacher?
I would be ashamed to make the statement in a school with the quality of teachers the district claims to have. Surely someone could come up with a productive time for the students left in class when the others are off to band. Also I'm sure the energetic ones leaving for band could play catch-up with the help of parents if need be.
The Board's reasoning was punctured at the meeting with the results from a number of studies that showed students leaving the classroom for band performed as well or better than their peers on assessment tests.
On the whole, it appears supporters of fifth-grade band have the better case.
The Board's excuses to eliminate are too weak.
Gifford F. Knapp
De Soto

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