If several candidates for the BH Board of Education are going to usurp their blogging privileges to market their BH Board of Education candidacies, I might as well join the fun.
What I really want to do is comment on Jenny’s latest (Oct 23) blog. Since comments apparently aren’t allowed, I’ll use this forum to accomplish the task.
Jenny, I need some answers to a few questions….
First of all, why do you talk about “back to education”? When did you leave it? I never have.
Secondly, you blog that you have been “defeated several times.” Why do you think that happened?
Thirdly, you say that “our district is no where near its former level of respectability…” What is that level and when were we there?
“Who supports public education?” you ask.
I’ll answer this one. People who understand that your view of education minus the visual, fine and performing arts, as well as athletics, is a very narrow view of what “education” should be. True education must involve both sides of the brain (right and left). That is where music and art enter the picture.
Don’t get me wrong. Math and science, languages, history and literature all have their rightful and valued place in a comprehensive curriculum. To include music, art and athletics does not take away from the importance of what you call “academics,” it just guarantees that our graduates will forge ahead into lives that are marketable, successful and fulfilling because we have educated the whole child, or as the Greeks would say, body (athletics) , mind (math, science) and spirit (literature and the arts).
The following, which appears in an article I wrote on my website (www.berndt4bloomfield.com), is appropriate to quote from here, because the new high school we are building addresses most all of the needs of our comprehensive curriculum, including a competitive swimming pool and a performing arts facility along with both traditional and 21st century learning spaces.
“21st century learning requires us to keep the core educational values we have always valued, but address them in a different way. Project based learning, blended learning, virtual learning—all these may seem strange to those of us brought up in the 20th century, but today’s technological society has changed the way we learn facts and how we use all the knowledge available, literally at the push of a finger on a smartphone.”
“With emphasis on math and the sciences, we not only keep pace with the rapid advance of technology, but we teach the scientific process, which is key to the discovery of knowledge. Through music and fine arts we teach the student to exercise the other side of the human brain that works creatively and innovatively. Through athletics and the performing arts, we instill healthier behaviors and teach students how to function as a team.”
By the way, colleges and universities today are on the same page in terms of project based learning, using critical thinking skills to solve problems, and blended learning.
“Jobs, Careers. A future” you say—yes, indeed, and those are addressed most successfully by guaranteeing the breadth and depth of curriculum I just discussed.
We do need a better Board of Education, one that is composed of trustees who understand that a comprehensive education is paramount to preparing our kids for a successful future.
And I would submit, we need a trustee who has spent a lifetime devoted to teaching children, who understands what true education is, who values that which we have now and seeks to preserve and improve it, not denigrate and deny a major part of the total experience every child should have. Therefore, you need to vote to return me to the Board to finish the term to which I was appointed!
Or, to mimic Marcia’s mantras, “I’m voting for Joan Berndt for the school board. I’m voting for Joan Berndt for the school board. I’m voting for Joan Berndt…..”