NJ For Change

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Looking for Inequities

New Jersey is broke, we have the highest property taxes in the country, we're spending fifty-seven percent more than the national average to educate our public school students and our officials in Trenton are worried that we might have inequities in arts education. Nothing like getting your priorities in order.

Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells announced that every public school in the state will be required to complete an online survey to "take stock of arts programs as a first step toward ensuring that instruction in music, drawing, theater and dance continues, even in lean budget years".

The findings will be used to identify and rectify inequities in schools' arts programs, officials said. "We all know that students will excel in languages, in math and science, reading and all those things in the curriculum when they have this type of enrichment in their daily program," said Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, one of two Cabinet officials who announced the survey during a visit to an elementary school in Trenton.
I'm sure some students love art classes, but I'm a bit skeptical that unbiased studies have proven students excel in core subjects and "all those things" as a result of "this type of enrichment in their daily program".

And don't you just love the sudden need to identify and rectify inequities in school arts programs. Let me tell you how this is going to play out. After the survey will come the lawsuits, leading to the discovery by New Jersey's Supreme Court that every child has a 'right' to art, music, theater and dance lessons under the state's constitution. This will lead to tax increases to bridge the 'art inequities gap' or as you and I will know it – the art teachers full employment mandate.
"You hope that the information is used to bolster education in the arts," said Kim L. Defibaugh, president of Art Educators of New Jersey and the fine arts supervisor in the Toms River school district. "You hope the survey will show some districts need to hire more certified teachers. But where the money comes from, I don't know."
You don’t have to hope Ms. Defibaugh, you know the study will conclude 'some districts' will need to hire more arts teachers. As to 'where the money comes from', it will come from the same place it always does, the state’s taxpayers. Is it any wonder the state's broke?
Anonymous matt said...

8.3 percent of the people in new jersey are living in poverty, your state has a high crime rate, and 14 percent of the people don't have health insurance - and you're complaining about the same old crap - too high taxes, too much spending, oh, and don't forget the "equality" card. Glad to see you, sir, have your priorities straight.

It's always baffled me how republicans sleep at night, after being so up in arms about crap like spending and affirmative action, and absolutely ignoring poverty and inequalities in society. Honestly, your priorities absolutely baffle me.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Chanice said...

Did you read this entry? I'm baffled by your inability to stick to the topic under discussion in a posting.

Do you think New Jersey needs to spend more money on public schools, art education or otherwise? If so, why? How does our spending on public schools compare to your home state?

Could you please explain how spending more money on "art programs" in New Jersey's public schools would reduce poverty, crime or provide health insurance to those without it?

Why did you bring up affirmative action and how Republicans sleep at night in your comments? Those topics are not relevant to issues in this posting.

Perhaps you don't know that New Jersey's "poor schools" spend more per student than the state's "rich schools". The schools that have been cutting back on "art education" in NJ are the “wealthier” school districts which don't receive much in the way of state aid for education.

No wonder you’re baffled. You’re attempting to use lefty talking points you’ve memorized in situations where they are not relevant to a topic of discussion.

I’m baffled by your sudden interest in New Jersey and my blog. Who sent you here?

BTW, I’m not a sir.

4:44 PM  
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