Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Letters to the Editor

Letter: What is gained by loss of art?

To the Editor:
I wonder how much the Genoa-Kingston community knows about the values of their school system.
What G-K parents should ask about is the curricular priority list and methods of the administration, and about the subject areas that were sacrificed in the guise of saving a relatively few dollars with the reduction in force actions of March 19.
The District 424 school board answers some of these questions, at least for the 2013-14 school year, by denying formal, licensed visual arts education to its middle school students.

What is to be gained?

As a veteran art teacher, I was at the higher end of the teacher pay scale in District 424, but considering my district tenure (18 years), experience (30-plus years), expertise (PhD equivalent) and many extras I was able to integrate into instruction, the salary could be considered a bargain. I’m an award-winning instructor and a practicing, prize-winning, published studio artist as well, after all.

So, again, what was gained by my ouster and the cut of middle school visual art in G-K?

Perhaps my belief that the district’s thirst for technology is clouding the judgment of how best we should teach our children has been mistaken for noncompliance. But I was “honorably dismissed” and noted as having done “a good job of integrating technology into her classroom.”

Was it because of her always honest answers to student questions?  Ones like: “Is it true you were fired?”  Her truthful answer:  “No. I was let go because the school board believes that art, with me as your teacher, is too expensive for you to learn. Please let your parents know that I have not done anything wrong.” 

One might also think that she was laid off due to her dedication to hands-on manipulative problem-solving, which isn’t easily “assessed” within a cyber context. But don’t we want students to have as much of this proven type of learning as possible?

Could it be the grandiose mythology that anyone can teach art?

I encourage and challenge the G-K Community to ask the simple question:  Why?

Then, please, explain the answer, if you get one, to the student body and to this impassioned art educator.

Remember these questions each time you spend looking at anything creative; a human activity, as it happens, nearly impossible to avoid.

As for this visual art teacher … I’ll just miss the kids.

Julie Sorensen


Loading more