Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

August 17, 2006

We support cheerleading too

Brenham Banner-Press Online Edition:

Neeley also said she has no patience for those who claim educational reforms hammered out by lawmakers in House Bill 1 during a special session this year “will be the death” of athletics, fine arts and UIL academic competitions.

“That’s malarkey,” she said.

Schools will always have programs such as athletics, cheerleading and band because “that’s what makes school fun … that’s what creates leadership,” said Neeley, who during her educational career has been a teacher, principal and district superintendent. “And my hat’s off to you for emphasizing the things that make school fun.”

So math, English, science, history and such aren’t fun? It’s not that I expect science classes to be fun where students and parents shell out money for tickets for the local science fair. What bothers me is the head of TEA seems to believe that kids only “tolerate” the non-fun classes because of the available fun activities. I think this is part of the problem with our society in general, kids don’t want to have to do anything unless it’s fun. Marketing has taken over all aspects of life. Just because it’s interesting, useful, or necessary isn’t good enough.

Then there is the leadership issue. According to Neeley, leadership is created in the fun programs. These are the students who become our leaders in society. No wonder our society doesn’t want to give up football. And when the state requires schools to spend 65% of their funding on classroom instruction, politicians can rest assured that varsity football is included under the definition of instruction.

Well, at least cheerleading hasn’t disappeared yet from Texas schools.

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