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A Pretty Good Primer on Arts Education Advocacy

GothamSchools is a sort of Artsjournal for education issues. Historically, it has been focused on New York City, but has expanded its coverage in the past couple of years.GS published a through report on yesterday's press conference, protest, and report release concerning proposed budget cuts that will lead to a reduction in certified arts teachers of 20 percent over two years. The report goes further to look at some policy and advocacy issues over the past four years.I think it's a good read, and while it clearly wasn't intended to be a primer … [Read more...]

Arts Education in New York City Schools: Doing More with Much Less????

From today's City Room, by Anna Phillips: Even Before Layoffs, Schools Lost 135 Arts TeachersAnd, before that, there was successive years of steep declines in funding for arts supplies and cultural partnerships.New York City spends $2 per student on arts supplies. I know suburban districts on Long Island and Westchester that spend about $18. Click here to read the report.Reading and math teachers are expected to be cut at a much lower rate. … [Read more...]

Worth The Price of Admission: Today’s Google Home Page

Click on this, snap!: And then don't forget to strum the string, really!! … [Read more...]

Hot Off The Press: Getting the Best High School Arts Education

It's the last in a series of Arts Education Guides for Parents, making the set complete. With this new edition for high school, we now have guides for: Pre-K through Second Grade; Third through Fifth Grade; Six through Eighth Grade; and now Ninth through Twelfth Grade. In English and Spanish, and for the earlier grade, a number of other languages.Next up? Adapting these local guides for use nationally...(Of course, we will have to think a bit about whether or not to include the tear off card for parents to send to the schools chancellor voicing … [Read more...]

The Things You Hear about Arts Education: When Up is Down and Down is Up

There's not one on this list that isn't true. And of course, the best part (or worst, depending on your view of things), is that many of the startlingly contradictory statements come from the same person. It's an update on a older post, let's call it version 2.0._______________________________________________________________________________ What's it like to support a well-rounded education that includes the arts??? Take a look at this list to find out: If we do that for the arts, we would have to do that for every subject. School District … [Read more...]

Arts Education and School Reform: An Unlikely Duo

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people from the arts education field say that arts ed needs to become part of school reform. And, this is not a new chorus, but a rather old one, going back at least 15 years.Granted, 15 years ago, when people spoke of school reform, they meant something along the lines of school improvement, which could mean improvement of environment, attendance rates, parent engagement, and more.Today, I am more and more inclined to think that those in the arts ed field who wish to become a central part of the … [Read more...]

Real Funding for Advocacy: What Is Sorely Needed

The simple fact is that funding for arts education advocacy has been fractional. The state alliances have historically been funded on a marginal basis and local advocacy has for the most part been nascent. Underdeveloped advocacy efforts and little funding to support anything better. That's arts education in 2011. Think good ideas for an engine, but little gas in the tank.The vast majority of arts and arts education funders don't fund advocacy and remain leery of it. Side-by-side with the discomfort remains a lack of understanding of what is … [Read more...]

A Living Mural At McKinley Middle School: Sustaining the Arts Across Years

Classes Come and Go, But the Mural Grows and Grows, by Fernanda Santos, The New York Times, May 18th, 2011The mural occupies the walls and steel doors along two floors of a middle school in Brooklyn. If turned into pavement, it would extend more than two city blocks.It's a terrific story about a terrific school that I know well. IS259 in Brooklyn was a long-term partner school of The Center for Arts Education.If you want to see a bit about the mural after reading the Times piece, I've included a nice video about the project.And, if you want to … [Read more...]

Guest Blogger, Jane Remer: The Law of Unintended Consequences: How “Reform” Became the Language of Defeat in 1983

Jane Remer's CliffNotes: Recently to my chagrin and discomfort, many scholars and practitioners in favor of improving public education through democratic means refer to current events and efforts in harsh terms. What we used to call "positive school change, development or improvement" has been cast aside as "soft and wimpy" and replaced with a lexicon that uses "reform" in its dictionary definitions as a punishment, laced with accusations of malpractice, misconduct, and even abuse. Perhaps without even realizing it, since 1983 those who want … [Read more...]

An Arts Education Toolkit, by Parents, for Parents

The Center for Arts Education, where I work, has had a toolkit for the past five or so years that was created by the parents, teachers, school leadership, and cultural partners, of PS 203 Queens, together with CAE as part of the program Parents as Arts Partners.Involving Parents and Schools in Arts Education is a 44 page toolkit, with a whole host of tools that any parent will find useful as they look for help in advancing arts education in their child's school.You have to admit, there's something to be said about a guide that emerges directly … [Read more...]

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