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Why are music, art, field trips, assemblies, and even in the lower grades science and history being cut from most of our public schools?
Many people believe that the reason music and art are being cut from schools is because there isn't enough funding. I can understand their line of reasoning, when there are budget cuts, music and art are the first to go. You can also look at which schools do have a music program at the moment, (some public schools in wealthy areas), and draw the same conclusion- music is being cut because only schools in wealthy areas have enough money to fund the programs.
Sadly though, this is not the case. music and art (as well as art, p.e., and in the elementary grades- science, social studies, history, and geography...) is not taught now a days because it is not tested on the high stakes test that determines the school's funding. Since it is not tested, any school that is in any way, shape, or form worried about passing the test, or has been designated a PI (Program Improvement School) will not "waste" their time on teaching it.
I know that it is hard to believe, but that is the truth. The latest catch phrases that teachers get every day is "direct, explicit, whole group instruction" and "loss of valuable education time". In other words "teach only what is going to be on the test to everyone. Don't waste any time on something that is not specifically on the test, even if by learning the subject material, the student will be a) more interested in school, b) be learning skills that will directly and indirectly help him in the future or even on the "all important test", and c) make him a more well rounded aware individual.
Music, as well as art, p.e., science, social studies, history, and geography are all important subjects that should be taught to all children, no matter how poorly they are doing, or how poor their families are. For some, it may be the spark that ignites their desire to learn, for others it may set the foundation for them to understand higher thinking skills, for others it may be the reason they stay in school, for others.... .