Editorial: Elective requirements need revised

Editorial Board

Students are forced against their will to take music and art electives. During a child’s elementary school years he/she takes a music and art class every year on a regular basis for a grade.  When students get to seventh grade they should no longer be forced to take art and music.  These should be options not requirements.

How is a student being able to use a specific artist’s technique going to benefit their future careers? Or how will being able to play a song on the guitar or keyboard be of use to someone if he or she plans to have a future career of woodworking or engineering?  These skills will most likely never be utilized depending on what a certain student’s plan for the future is.

Most students during their eighth and ninth grade years have to take art and music electives even if they are not interested in either. This proposes a problem because when a person is not doing a class of their liking, or they believe it will not do any good for their future, they tend to think of these classes as fillers and complete the work half as well as they’d normally do.  It should be an option to have these classes to be a part of a student’s schedule.

Although these classes will be giving students more knowledge on various topics, the simple, trivial facts they may learn will never compare to the comprehension they could find with math or English classes. Students will never utilize these skills in real life to the point that these classes are seemingly nothing to them. Between that and the fact that they will gain no concrete knowledge for use in college-level classes tells all who will read between the lines one thing; these classes are not needed for a student to succeed in school and life.

Now, some students also find these classes to be rather dull, as in they do not peak their interest whatsoever.  When students are not interested they begin to not care about their work, as previously said, and it can have a negative influence on a student’s grade and overall GPA. 

And while many find these classes to be boring, others- who do plan to major in art or music- find these classes unhelpful as well. Most already know the material, like how to draw or use different medias, and also look at these classes as an easy 100, which is usually not the case. They should have the choice to review this material or to fill these free elective spaces with subjects with more advanced music or art classes.  

Furthermore, during a student’s ninth grade year at the junior high, it is known they have the opportunity to take an extra art or music elective along with their core classes. If this choice is being given to the older population of the Altoona Area Junior High school, it might as well be given to the younger students as well. This would get rid of the negativeness that goes towards these ‘filler’ classes.

Anyone could go their entire seven through twelve years of school without these art and music classes. Even though it’s established by the state to fill certain credits for graduation, it should be an option for the youth in the schools and be changed for the better. If students want to gain knowledge of the arts and musical classes then they can take that elective if they desire.

Students can replace the empty spot in their schedule with any class they want.  There could even be more options for students to pick from more diverse elective classes they actually want to do.  There are a lot more classes to choose from. Even art and music electives for those who wish to take them. The choice should be given to the students, those who will be the adults of the future, and not to the state. Teachers who teach art and music shouldn’t be affected because they will be able to teach art and music electives.