Beaverton School District Board Meeting Testimony by Carolyn Talarr on Behalf of Beaverton Friends of Music
My name is Carolyn Talarr, and I’m the mother of a rising sophomore at Southridge. Before motherhood, I received a Master of Fine Arts from Yale, taught for several years, and completed doctoral classwork as a Dean’s Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. While there, I led a seminar sponsored by the National Center for Adult Literacy, in which I trained local literacy professionals in ‘practitioner inquiry’. Practitioner- or in K-12, Teacher-Inquiry, is a direct forebear of what’s known now as ‘collaboration’, ‘learning teams’, and so on.
I am here tonight as a member of the Beaverton Friends of Music, the folks in the red shirts. We are a group of parents, students, and teachers who are alarmed by the vastly disproportionate, unexplained and inexplicable cuts to music education in this year’s budget. We are also concerned about all the cuts that could have been prevented, as well as the spending choices and the directions they imply.
We’re glad to know that you want to hear the voices of the community you represent. We consider the discussion on last year’s budget to be still open, in accordance with Oregon State Budget Law, and the discussion for the coming year’s budget to be starting now. We will be attending every Board meeting, work session, and District listening session this year. In addition, a team of Beaverton Friends of Music members is now assigned to each zone and will be in contact with their board member regularly.
We hope that this ongoing communication can help the Beaverton School Board wisely identify and nourish the solid strengths that we have in place already in teachers and programs. The community values these teachers and programs not for sentimental reasons, but because, by any standard—qualitative or quantitative, they’ve *proven* to be highly educationally effective. We look forward to working with each one of you toward this end.