NH House Bill 39 I sent the following e-mail to the reprsentatives from my distinct in response to the attempt to eliminate arts education, world languages, technology,communication and health. It seems obvious that the bill wouldn’t pass but it could be dangerous to let such bills come before the legislature without comment.
I am writing to encourage you to vote against House Bill 39. Tom Friedman in his book The World is Flat stresses that the institutions that encourage imagination will be the successful schools in the ever changing world of the 21t century. To return to the 19th century concept of reading, writing and arithmetic is reactionary in a world dominated by change. Arts education is integral to the development of a well rounded creative and imaginative individual. World language is even more important today than it has ever been as our population will be called upon to collaborate with people from many different cultures. It would be short sighted to cancel health classes at a time when many segments of our population are embracing unhealthy lifestyles. The idea that we should not be training our students to use technology and communication in effective, creative, and ethical ways is also counterproductive when our children will be called upon to function in a rapidly evolving technological age. William Butler Yeats pointed out that “Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” Returning to the “3 R’s” will not create the well rounded citizens that the great educational philosopher John Dewey envisioned. It will simply be an attempt to fill the pail and we will be doing children a great disservice if Bill 39 is passed. This will certainly not light any fires.