Lighting the Way since 1953  
Students losing art education

By Victoria Priest

     The Scholastic Art Competition brings hope to an area where art is slowly being pushed aside in our schools. Once kindergartners had the pleasure of learning about color, line, value and rhythm, but today in the Plainview area a student will not experience a traditional art education until the seventh grade.
      Art is being put on the back burner due to the demands of the traditional subjects such as math, science, English and social studies. Students are tested on their knowledge in these areas, and that is where the focus will lie in education.
      However, schools are required to include fine arts in their curriculum, and many schools haven chosen to include music instead of visual art. This is slightly understandable due to the amazing talent of the Plainview Band. But because of this, visual art education is being pushed upon the traditional teachers — which may or may not be a good thing.
      One good thing is that it requires teachers to think outside of the box and create innovative lesson plans that include art. This allows students to learn the traditional subjects with a bit of flare.
      One bad thing is that art is just one more thing the teacher has to worry about. They stress all year about the math, reading and writing TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test. Now they have to worry about whether or not their students are learning art as well.
      Debbie Gibson, art teacher at Estacado Junior High, understands the reasons for cutting art from the curriculum but is still deeply saddened at the lack of art knowledge she experiences every year with each new batch of eighth graders.
      Instead of incorporating art into other areas, Gibson has tried to incorporate other areas into art. This may be the strategy that art needs to survive. The students will still be getting extra practice in the traditional subjects, while still getting a full art education.