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Thomas J. West Music

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The Long-Term Cost Of Cuts To Arts Education

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM

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The following is a guest article from Mark T. Burke, founder of ViaEdTechnologies. The views expressed in this article reflect similar views of ThomasJWestMusic.com



I am sitting in an interview session to hire an employee, it's 2023, 12 years after state and federal budgets all but erased arts courses from reality.  I don't interview like most people.  I don't care to hear someone repeat things I can read on a resume.  I care about the value the person sitting with me brings to the team.  I care about their ability to function independently, led by their personal commitment to the organizational mission. I care more about what they CAN learn than the facts and data they HAVE learned.  I want to KNOW they can learn...think... and CREATE.

 

It's now the forth interview in a row. Not one of the candidates fits.  They all know THINGS.  They are all smart in their own way. But, I don't see a yearning for more.  I begin to think about having to settle for one of them and start thinking about how I can help them become capable team members.  Their development will take more than the standard on-the-job-training.  They need guided time where they can become comfortable with their abilities to THINK and CREATE.  How much time...years maybe.

 

I ask myself, "What will this time and effort cost my organization?"  The answer seems high at first.  But, then I realize something. My customers....they too have been affected by the lack of thinking and creative experiences.  I am now relieved.  My customers won't know what they are missing.  My products don't have to be creative or show innovation. Eventually, no-one will have demands for forward thinking ideas.  My generation is the last and we are becoming the "old guys."  Wow....what a relief.  I can hire any of these people and all will be good. 

 

How much does eliminating arts costs us?  It costs us far more than the price to deliver the actual education.  Cuts now double in depreciated value every year.  I know we can't afford that. 

 

Support creative, innovative, artistic education NOW.

 

 




Categories: Music Education, Editorial, Guest Authors

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