Visual and Performing Arts, although required by UC schools, should not be required to graduate Miramonte. Many students do not have the desire to pursue something in that category, and it wastes their valuable time that they could use to take a class that is connected to their career goal.
Also, while Miramonte High School allows students to graduate without having taken such a class, many tend to take them as a precaution, anyways.
These classes should be considered an “extra” class, not a necessity. In fact, it is a bit ridiculous that it is required by UC schools. It should only be required if one is in fact planning on working in that field in their future. If someone is going to school purposely for art, an art class makes sense to be required. However, if someone is going to a business school, a class such as video production is pointless. A student who is forced into a class that they don’t have a desire to take will not enjoy it and will most likely not do well. In order to succeed in a class, a student must be interested. However, if a student is just taking a class to get the credits, the likelihood is that they won’t focus or care. They will likely distract from the rest of the class that actually does care.
Miramonte is full of students with very high grade point averages. Most of these students need to focus the majority of their time on academic classes. By the time they reach their senior year, many that didn’t have the time to take a VPA class earlier, have to begrudgingly sign up for a seemingly useless class. Crafts, Video Production, Photography (and many more) are all great classes that can benefit an engaged child greatly. However, many students aren’t cut out for that type of work. Students who are math and science-oriented may not enjoy taking an art class.
When they are practically pushed into a class of that manner, they may end up receiving a poor grade for something they don’t even prefer to do. This can bring down their grade point average as well as their self-esteem. VPA classes are important for some. Others see it as an added stress to the already difficult four years of high school. Students ask themselves which classes to take to get AP credits and to put them on a path to their future colleges and jobs. They also have to ask themselves how much time they have to complete all these desired or needed classes. With little time to spare, they shouldn’t be pressured in squeezing into a class that is neither beneficial nor worthwhile.
Miramonte allows students to take a year of Technology and Career Tech as a replacement for a VPA. Therefore it would be better to take a class such as foods rather than having the risk of getting a blemish on a report card due to a VPA class.
There is an intense amount of strain put on high school students. A VPA has the possibility of releasing some of the stress for a period of fun. Unfortunately, it can also lead to students scrambling for credits their senior years or just barely getting by in a class they didn’t want to take in the first place. Not only should VPA classes continue to not be required to graduate, but also they should not be needed to get into a UC school.