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In an effort to save money, school boards across the country are considering eliminating elective subjects such as art, band, and auto mechanics. Electives are thought as fun classes to fill in one’s schedule, but elective classes can be a future path for many kids. Electives guide students into seeking hidden talents, passions, and interests. “Several studies show that students are more likely to major in a course they took as an elective” (Futterman).
In fact, the rank of the United States in math, science, and reading has dropped in the past 50 years. Although, we are number one at movies and music and people all over the world are inspired by our creativity. Reading, math, and science are not for everyone and electives need to be kept in for teens to imagine and be creative, to stimulate different parts of the brain, and to take a break from sitting and working in a classroom.Schools are having budget issues due to the decision to pay for test preparation classes or electives. Demands and requirements for high school students are continually shifting toward core classes. As a result, programs in the arts, music, and other creative realms are disappearing quickly.
This is not only a loss for students, but for many teachers. “According to the National Education Association, in New York City alone, over 233 elective teachers of athletics, music, and the ars were laid off because of issues of funding, testing, and a dwindling social respect for the arts and creative courses” (Chen).It is a known fact that there are connections with high academic standings and those who play an instrument, but electives help with much more than that. In the article “Making the grade: importance of electives,” written by Whitney Dorband, it states that electives can strengthen skills learned in the core subjects. “The visual arts help strengthen visual learners, music strengthens oral learners, and P.E. strengthens kinetic learners” (Dorband).
Researchers compiled SAT data from 2010 which showed “students with academic experience scored higher both in math and verbal” (Futterman). Researchers surveyed 100 college students from different majors to get their input on electives. “They found that high school electives helped them learn valuable traits like leadership skills, teamwork, goal-setting, and self expression. Electives also helped them foster their childhood imaginations throughout their adolescent years and into adulthood” (Dorband).The main reason behind the number of elective classes dwindling is because of the No Child Left Behind Act started by the Bush administration, which started in 2002.
The bill states “the purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.” Reading and math are the two subjects mainly focused in this Act. “This has driven federal and state governments to change the curriculum of schools to focus on these two subjects, but electives have been lost in the process” (Dorband).
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