Very well said and you hit the nail on the head.
Thank you for such an honest, frank response. High
standards, expectations often times can be the undoing
of an excellent art program. Why is that not the case
for a Math or Science curriculum?
> My feeling is...the value of an "A" for the student
> working very
> hard, is undermined when another student trying as
> they may to get an
> "F" cannot do so.
> I do not give gifts...and I do not give out grades.
> The students
> earn them...and an unwillingness to work will earn a
> failing grade.
> I have given out about six or seven failing grades
> in the nine years
> of my current district where I teach.
> My standards are written out and posted on hutch
> doors...and one's
> word is only as good as what one is willing to back
> I have this little quote I oft remind myself of that
> says, "you
> deserve what you tolerate!"
> If you give gifts in the form of grades and the
> message gets out that
> you do not have to work hard to earn an A or even a
> B in art, then
> you will deserve the attitude and lack of serious
> effort that will
> follow. You will see poor work executed as though
> kids are yet doing
> you a favor being in your class, and quite an
> attitude to boot.
> The problem for many art instructors, if we are
> honest...is that as
> an elective class, many fear the word getting out
> that you grade hard.
> Our being kept by the district hit with budget
> crunching numbers and
> difficult times, comes down by administrator's
> standards to the
> numbers. If they can show that many students take
> your class, they
> can justify keeping you employed. Problem is...kids
> more and more
> want something for nothing. If they have to work
> for something, then
> it isn't meant to be.
> Facing the possibility that the district might have
> no art...if the
> numbers fall, it is easy to justify that it is
> better the kids get
> exposure to "some" art...than higher standards that
> might then push
> students to consider other subjects where laziness
> can assure an
> easier grade.
> When it boils down to such...we are certainly living
> in a more
> difficult time for education.