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    Re: I left CA 5 yrs ago & it was the biggest mistake of my l
    ~Bradley

    On 8/16/08, Lori wrote:

    > Bradley, I don't know where you're teaching, but it sounds like you
    > might be in a very rural area. There are certainly individuals who
    > think the arts aren't important, but I've not run up against an
    > entire community. The reason I moved here from CA was because my
    > music position, as well as art and library, were cut. After having
    > had that happen 3 times, I bid CA a fond farewell and I haven't
    > looked back. The pay here is less, but at least I have a job that
    > I love.
    >
    > Don't give up on Colorado. Yes, it's competitive, but if you find
    > the right position, you'll love it!

    No, I'm not in a rural area. I'm in Jefferson County, in an area not
    far from the Denver line. Although Jeffco does include some mountain
    areas and more affluent suburbs, those are not where I am.

    I have a job I like very much, working as a classroom teacher. This is
    my fourth year there, so I now have tenure, and plan to stay.

    However, the original poster asked about job availability for music
    teachers. In my present position, as well as the one-year contract I
    completed in Douglas County after my return from California, I found
    that music and art were not valued nearly as much as in California.

    My own principal often says, "It's all about CSAP." She has also
    indicated that she considers the "Specials" classes to be "fluff." I
    also mentioned my school's track record regarding the number of music
    teachers who have come and gone during the short time I've been at
    this school.

    I think it's tragic, and wrong, that the arts, and particularly music,
    are not an essential part of the very foundation of public school
    education here. But almost weekly you will see letters and editorials
    in the News and Post saying that public schools need to get "back to
    basics," eliminating anything but the most essential curriculum that
    can lead to higher test scores - and, theoretically, jobs.

    This lack of value toward art and music education has consistently
    appeared to be, in my own experience, the prevailing attitude in
    Colorado. I'm glad to hear that your own experience has been
    different. It gives one hope.

    ~Bradle

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