Letter: Educational Priorities

By Richie Goldstein

Updated: 4 hours ago Published: 4 hours ago

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s war on education has left the Anchorage school district with a $68 million deficit. When school districts try to save money, they invariably consider cutting art, music, and physical education classes, deeming them less important than foreign languages, history, and government. The Anchorage School District policymakers considering these cuts are deeply misguided. I completely and totally reject their thought. I place art, music and physical education at the top of what I consider to be the foundations of a decent education.

I base my opinion on a 40-year career teaching at all levels, from sophomore to junior high school. I have a master’s degree in special education. I have taught in California, Bethel, Anchorage, Rome and New York. I created two important programs here in Alaska: the first was for gifted and talented students in the Lower Kuskokwim School District; the second was the International Baccalaureate program for West High, where I also taught all PA history and government classes.

From my experience, it’s absolutely clear to me that the music is far more important than the story; art is infinitely more important than government; and physical education is infinitely more important than the foreign language. Every student should be able to take these three lessons every school day.

—Richie Goldstein


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