你最好当心，你最好不要哭，最好不要p嘴，我’我告诉你为什么，圣诞老人要来镇上。因此，我们的许多公立学校都没有使用这种假期恶作剧。政治上正确的教育体系似乎再次清除了圣诞节中所有事物的状况；在本周，据报道，当地一所小学，位于汉普菲尔德学区（PA）的Centerville小学，取消了40多年的年度5年级表现的传统。“A Christmas Carol”。 [当然，这个新闻报道没有病毒功能似乎有点讽刺。“ 亨普菲尔德 学区”]. Nevertheless, this type of action exposes the sad direction our public school system is moving toward: Simply, decisions like this present an example how we are seeing an erosion of learning as creative, something fun, an expression of arts education, 和an extension of cultural celebration.
Based upon first reports, the Principal, initially reviewed the practice of the long-standing 圣诞节颂歌 tradition due to a number of complaints associated with Tiny Tim’的闭幕词，“God bless us one 和all”. However, district spokesperson Shannon Zimmerman, stated within that “It’s not a part of the written curriculum of fifth grade, but students 和teachers were required to participate in it 和we can’t allow that to continue.” Once again, the Common Core, 和a highly prescriptive curriculum toward test-driven instruction, is presented as the reason for this decision:
“We are aware of rumors circulating in the community about the fifth grade play at Centerville Elementary School. Additionally, we understand that some parents are upset that the play was cancelled, but we have heard from families on both ends of the spectrum, including those who expressed appreciation that the play, as it had traditionally been prepared 和delivered, was cancelled.
We want to clarify that the decision to cancel the play was a building decision, based upon interactions between myself 和the fifth grade teaching team. This decision was made based primarily on instructional opportunities for students. Producing 和performing a play is not part of the written curriculum for fifth grade.
Over the years, preparations had evolved to take 15 to 20 hours of instructional (educational) time to produce this play. Given changes in state standards in recent years, we could not defend the commitment of this kind of instructional time to something not part of the fifth grade curriculum. The teachers agreed that they did not want our students to be put at a disadvantage relative to their peers from other schools in preparation for 6th grade; therefore, the play was cancelled. In addition to focusing on high quality instruction, our decision is rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural 和religious backgrounds represented 通过 the students attending Centerville Elementary.
This information was shared in a letter home to fifth grade parents 和at a recent PTO meeting. Parents are encouraged to share their questions or concerns directly with me.”
我记得1990年代末’作为校长，我曾遇到过类似的情况，包括万圣节和圣诞节表演。就万圣节而言，我一直在努力保持服饰周围的传统活动，因为我知道这些经历对学生们很有趣。当时，我感到教师的退缩似乎是建立在包容性和文化敏感性的基础上的。但是，在我们的谈话中，很明显的是，万圣节为准备工作带来了麻烦，最值得注意的是，学生被描述为“out of control”参加这些类型的活动时。因此，我提出了利用万圣节作为庆祝文学和阅读程序中发现的虚构人物的机会的想法。这得到了父母和学生的欢迎，但得到了教职人员的勉强同意。在我担任校长一职后，我离开后，这项传统活动立即被工作人员放弃。它被描述为“课程和教学决策”。回顾过去的圣诞节，整个宗教参考和传统文化活动的概念已经被抹掉，取而代之的是“Winter Break”and “Winter Holiday” under the context of inclusion 和diversity. As I said earlier, as a former principal, I never saw the principle of inclusion work in the opposite direction for I never experienced nor observed sensitivity toward curriculum practices which addressed Christian beliefs including the study of evolution, sex education, or historical / literary references to the bible. From the 1980’从此以后，包容似乎是一个单方面的主张。但是，这并不是Hempfield学区所依据的。它’s really about instructional minutes, curriculum, adhering to the Common Core, 和test scores.
Certainly, I imagine 汤姆·克雷默 felt similar pressure from his instructional team. However, twenty years later, the pressure teachers feel related to curriculum standards, high-stakes test assessments, 和overall student performance, is much higher today than ever before. As a result, our schools are dropping supplemental activities such as plays, arts-related activities, 和creative outlets of expression. In addition, at the Elementary level, we are seeing curriculum such as science 和social studies, which traditionally provided students 和teachers opportunity to experience fun within the context of learning, has shifted to an integrated approach found within the reading text books. So instead of hands-on activities such as labs, cooperative learning activities, 和simulations, many of our elementary classrooms feature reading 和writing as “common core” to instruction within science 和social studies. This is due to the pressures our administrators 和teachers experience toward an exclusive “english literacy”学习方法。
那么，这与我们在Whoville（汉普菲尔德）的朋友有什么关系？它’s really about watching our educational system get lost 和misguided down a path which features a text-book prescribed curriculum, test-driven decision making, 和the loss of creativity 和artistic expression within the learning process. It’s as if we’re taking the fun out of the fundamentals in teaching. No matter how we mask this, whether it be within the context of political correctness, instructional minutes, or competing with other schools related to advantages 和disadvantages, our educational system is on a spiral-path toward nowhere as a meaningless enterprise with no heart or soul within it’s grasp. It’现在是我们做点什么的时候了。
这里’s another throwback from my principal years: When I was faced with parent complaints 和concerns, I tended to see it as follows:
So within the context of political correctness, there are situations or incidences which tend to escalate the response pattern from district 和school officials. As described above, the initial complaint of a few parents may have created greater concern on behalf of the principal beyond the typical. However, when addressing concerns with your school administrator, especially addressing program ideas, the more parents you have working toward a common goal, this will likely present a powerful tool on your side. So I am recommending that parents, especially those who see things as you do, seek established paths leading to program changes: PTA groups, Site Leadership Teams, or other parent / staff partnerships. And I recommend doing so at the site level for there tends to be more flexibility 和freedom within the school. Whether it be accessing more arts within the school day, establishing more hands-on approaches within science or social studies, or presenting other ideas supporting the joy of learning for your kids within their learning experience, your best shot at creating change is through a grass-roots approach with numbers of others working together. Keep in mind, when principals 和district administration hear the message through parent involvement 和engagement, this speaks louder than you can imagine. More so then test scores alone! For a successful school is one which takes pride in parent involvement 和acknowledges this as a strength.
So I encourage you to get involved 和seek out others with like-minded thinking. If you don’t, the pressures within the system, whether it be from a politically-driven agenda, frustrated teachers, or through a very loud minority within the community, will continue to increase 和cause more changes potentially taking the fun out of the education fundamentals. And we all know that when our kids are inspired 通过 school, lifted up 通过 the love of learning, we see a whole different child.
May our children feel loved, 和in doing so, may they experience the gift within. God bless us one 和all.