A NO-NONSENSE STATEMENT FROM THE CARIBOO
One of the main issues here in small rural BC is that we have not affordable programmes for performing arts anymore. There used to be series that we could plug into years ago and programmes through the Arts and Culture but they are just not affordable for small communities. The Olympics spirit festival or some damn thing was a joke up here in the Cariboo.
Of course, the schools are still in need of arts coordination and support. The current testing programme leaves the arts out entirely so what we test and value is having and effect, mostly negative. We are graduating kids that do not have the faintest background in artistic literacy and that will catch up to us eventually.
Then to have schools rated by the likes of the Fraser Institute and then published in the press, according to Dr. Paul Shaker is an outgrowth of the push behind the scenes to totally privatize education, and do away with public education. The Private Schools are listed in the top 10 as the best schools when in fact they are sorted by a population who has money and we know that the rich tend to have children who do better anyway.
This is the society that we are evolving to, a quasi meritocracy only based on money. First Nations, handicapped and special needs students do not rate. I have trouble with this kind of meritocracy.
Answer to this? Keep trumpeting what the Coalition for Music Education in Canada and others (AABC) are advocating. Something else: de-politicize education from the degree it has become in Canada to the degree that makes it stand out negatively in Canada. The Provinces in my estimation to look to now are Manitoba and Newfoundland , who still have some valuing of the arts and do not pull off the Ida Chung kind of bafflegab. Thanks for drawing my attention to the meeting when Herhert Spencer roasts her quietly and effectively. What utter nonsense!
We need an arts and cuture initiative such as the Newfoundland Labrador Government has in education and community arts.
Start lobbying the NDP who if I am not mistaken will have the next majority. Spencer is great. He is on side.
There is more to my rant but I will have a drink, calm down and go about my business of humbly trying to bring people in our little area along with other humble and dedicated folks to the arts and culture here.
Dennis Tupman (Green Lake, BC Cariboo)