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Shock AND frustration greets humanities pathway decision

Decision by new Kentucky Commissioner of Education not to include an Arts & Humaities Career Pathway has dismayed not only students, but education leaders throughout the commonwealth. This frustration was voiced last night at the Adair County School Board meeting by Academic Dean Phyllis Curry and by student school board member Lauren McQuaide
Related: Comments re photo 62777 Lauren McQuaide ACHS student school board member

By Cayce Davenport

I'm so glad that the recent decision by our new Commissioner of Education was mentioned & to hear that there are students wanting to voice their frustration. As a Visual Art Educator & professional artist in the state of Kentucky as well as an avid fan of all the humanities I too am stricken with concern and worry about the future of the discipline that is the arts.

It seems that we as arts teachers are forever in limbo of how we "rank" in importance to the Kentucky Department of Education. The past few years under the office of Mr. Holiday (former Commissioner of Education) the humanities has been included into the overall accountability score of a school as well as been given an appropriate assessment measurement tool in which to be "graded."

The last three years we have waited and worked on being included into the College & Career Pathway programs.

Last year, the the Visual/Performing Arts pathway was piloted in various schools across the state. I have been in meetings with teachers involved in the pilot, which received positive reviews from those involved.

Over the last week, after hearing of this ruling to revoke the Visual/Performing Arts as a viable career pathway in the state of Kentucky, only two months after its initiation, I have spoken to a number of colleagues ranging from the Kentucky Art Educators Association, the Governor's Scholar for the Arts, Kentucky Music Educator Association, & Robert Duncan at KDE. All those parties have expressed the same shock & frustrations.

As for the College & Career Pathways program within the Department of Education, it is an incredibly unique opportunity for our students to be able to focus on their future career choices at an earlier age. These programs are fantastic & make that possible. However, for those students wishing to pursue an arts centered career that opportunity has been stripped away in the state of Kentucky...for the time being. There are several reputable sources within the state of working now to make sure that the arts are once again included as a viable career pathway within this program.

It is touching to hear from our students on this matter. It's refreshing & encouraging to know that we have students at Adair County High School passionate enough about the arts to speak up in support of the arts programs in our schools. It is a pleasure to be one of your teachers at Adair County High School.

Thank you,
Cayce Stockton Davenport
Visual Art Teacher, Adair County High School

This story was posted on 2015-10-23 14:57:44
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