Parents need to be vigilant of school changes

Feb. 2, 2014 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 1, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

I read the Advocate's editorial Jan. 30 with interest because a few years ago, a new superintendent was contemplating curriculum changes. I was asked to be a member of the board - I guess because I always had my nose in the school's business. It disturbed me that our superintendent, among other things, was wanting to eliminate music as a credit course.

If any of you have been around any board and the CEO, you know the board often blindly follows the latter's lead. I, on the other hand, decided to contact the music departments in several in-state and out-of-state universities to gather their opinions. These contacts were Ph.D.s from major universities, and they were astounded at the possibility of having music eliminated as a credit, forcing many average, as well as high achievers, to go the way of the credit curriculum. They cited numerous studies on how the importance of music improves their classroom performance.

Our superintendent was not prepared for the report I gave, and our board was able to save the music department for the time being. My children have long since departed the school system and its music department, and I have drifted away from being a watchdog.

Perhaps music was later disallowed as a credit course, and I just haven't heard; but I welcome all parents to do their due diligence and be informed about what your school system is doing.

When a new superintendent is hired, they often have an agenda that does not agree with the former superintendent's and will set his or her own. I have witnessed plans that never went to fruition before a new superintendent made their own and caused the teachers to start over learning their new plan, which required new materials. Often, both teachers and students suffer.

Then there is the issue of textbooks, but I'm running out of room.

Stay vigilant.

Nic Harrison, Port Lavaca



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