If the schools are doing this in order not to be labeled as failures under NCLB, their motivation is all wrong. They should be doing it to provide the education they're tasked to provide to the students. Allow me to be blunt here--what good is a ceramics class to a kid who can't freakin' read above a third grade level?
I myself attended school in the Grant District. I spent my first four years of teaching in that district. I know John Ennis, the Grant teachers union president quoted in the article. He's a good man, but he's clearly wrong here:
"When you take away elective classes, I think it's a tragedy," said John Ennis, president of the Grant teachers union. "I want a well-rounded citizen."
John, if they can't read, they're not well-rounded. We've got to get our priorities straight. If it takes NCLB to get our priorities in order, then so be it.