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Through a Prism: The Bending of K-12 Arts and Education

As much as people are disappointed with the way arts education is situated within the USDOE's Blueprint for ESEA reauthorization, most people I know inside and outside the arts are pleased with the proposal to rethink AYP . For those who don't get what I am talking about, click here for a quick and lively catch-up. I was looking at a Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday, about the Administration's new ESEA Blueprint. Now, fair enough, it is WSJ after all, and that editorial board would prefer that all schools were charter schools and that … [Read more...]

Batter Up: The Federal i3 Grant Program

Today in Baltimore is the first of three technical assistance sessions across the country for potential applicants to the USDOE's i3 program. I have written two different entries on i3, click here and click here to read them.In a nutshell, the USDOE has set aside $650 million of Federal stimulus funds for education for this competitive grant program. The deadline for applications is May 11; and the "intent to apply" is "requested" by April 1st. The final guidelines were released on March 8th. There were relatively minor changes made in the … [Read more...]

Arts Eduation and ESEA: Where do the Arts fit in National Education Policy?

National Education Policy you may ask, you didn't know there was one!  Well, after reading the USDOE's A Blueprint for Reform--The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it struck me that this was the closest thing we will get to a national education policy. For those hell bent on seeing something like this in the arts realm (national cultural policy), it might not be a bad idea to read this Blueprint.If you haven't yet heard, last week the administration released its plan for the reauthorization of the Elementary … [Read more...]

STEM To STEAM: Is it Just a Lot of Hot Air?

And I am not talking about how to get the old school radiators in my office to stop all that loud banging when they heat up. (That is technically known as Steam Hammer.)There's a funny look people get on their face when they use the line: let's turn STEM to STEAM! It's a cute little smile, like they just said something really clever. It's a fine line however, between clever and cute, at least as in "being a bit too cute."It's the latest attempt to wedge the arts into something else. One day it's STEM the next day it's 21st Century Skills. Okay, … [Read more...]

The Federal Govermment Should Mandate that Every Child Should Study A Musical Instrument

That quote comes from Diane Ravitch, who was presented at an American Enterprise Institute forum last Wednesday night in DC. In addition, the program featured AEI's Rick Hess as moderator, and AEI's Mark Schneider,  NEA President Dennis van Roekel, and the Boorkings Institution's William A. Galston, as panelists.This was part of Diane's book tour, and of course, to have Diane present her ideas on school reform today, highly critical of the things that AEI has been supportive of, made for a great presentation, not to mention theater.I was … [Read more...]

Proposal to Scorch the Earth in Toledo Public Schools

There are times when the little policy matters seems irrelevant. Who cares if a subject is declared "core" by your state department of education or USDOE?Take a good look at this story coming out of Toledo. It is a rather stunning example of how a school district is proposing the elimination of all certified arts and physical education teachers and justifying it by declaring that the state doesn't deem the arts and physical education to be a core subject.Why fight for arts education positive policies?Your answer is in this new piece: click here … [Read more...]

American Teacher Magazine on Arts Education: Part Two

Last month the American Teacher Magazine, which has a circulation of over one million, had a cover story on arts education.  They have followed-up on the cover story, with a series of pieces submitted by educators from across the country, about the value of arts education.Click here to read the March/April edition of the American Teacher and its follow-up story on arts education in America.I have been told by sources, that the response by teachers to the January/February cover story on arts education, was the largest in years, as measured … [Read more...]

Guest Blog: Jane Remer’s CliffNotes on Diane Ravitch’s The Death and Life of the Great American School System

Let's welcome back Dewey21C's regular guest blogger, Jane Remer. Fresh off being honored by the New York City Arts Education Roundtable at its Face to Face Conference, she's got a swell entry on Diane Ravitch new book. As an intro, I want to point out something quite wonderful about Diane and her new book: it is extremely rare for a major league education policy leader to ever mention the arts. Diane points to the arts regularly through her book, and through her daily activities. And, now, so do people like Checker Finn. Let there be more who … [Read more...]

The Mayor Of London Gets in Front of a City-Wide Music Education Plan

Well, apparently he's both in front of and behind the plan. In fact, Mayor Boris Johnson is clearly excited by this project.Click here to listen to him speaking about music education and this new project.Click here to view the plan.There are many local music services,orchestras, arts organisations, charities and schools which do excellent work. This strategy sets out how we will champion them, help them to grow and reach out to more Londoners.It is great to see such a plan put together, that clearly has the sort of real deal buy-in from the … [Read more...]

Race to the Top Finalists Announced by USDOE

Lots of news associated with the USDOE. This one is big.Today the USODE sent letters to governors announcing the finalists for the first round of RttT.The Department received 41 applications for the first phase of Race to the Top. Each application underwent a comprehensive and rigorous review by an expert panel of independent reviewers and we have selected the following finalists: Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode … [Read more...]

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