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Guest Blog, Jane Remer: A Paradox, A Paradox, A Most Ingenious Paradox –The Common Core of State Standards and The Untamable Core of the American Class System

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Jane Remer’s CliffNotes: September 29, 2011 “A Paradox, A Paradox, a Most Ingenious Paradox” (Pirates of Penzance/Gilbert and Sullivan), The Common Core of (Voluntary) State Standards and the Untamable Core of the American Class System. The 21st Century is young, but it’s clearly becoming a paradox. The now developing Common Core meticulously charts the paths and spirals (but not the contents) for English Language Arts and Math, K-12. Many states are engaged in developing assessments (process and implementation, not content) aligned to … [Read more...]

Is A Liberal Arts Education Dead Meat?

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There are a lot of folks who are taking aim at the liberal arts. Lately, there's been quite a lot of attention paid to a recent speech by Bill Gates at the National Governors Association, where he questioned funding liberal arts programs because the area did not produce enough jobs.For me, this is just a stone's throw form the sort of thinking that relegates the arts to the periphery for many K-12 students.It's always a relief to see a more broad-based viewpoint emerge, in this case stemming from  a bipartisan call from members of the US … [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...]

To Turn Her Middle School Around, A Principal Invests in the Arts

There's probably not a ton of Artsjournal.com readers that read GothamSchools.org.Nevertheless, it is the go-to web site for news about New York City Public Schools, and its reach continues to grow nationwide.And, I would say that, even if they hadn't written such a terrific feature on how the arts can be part of improving a low performing school.And, damn, I would have to say that for those who a part of the world of arts and education, this is a perfect piece for the holidays. All it's missing is a nice little red bow.I urge you click over to … [Read more...]

The Challenge of Teaching Art in the Public School System: Part Two

In July 2009, I posted what is now the first installment of a multi-part piece: POV: The Challenge of Teaching Art in the Public School System.Essentially, I was sharing with the readers of Dewey21C, an article that had been published in the New York Teacher.Today, I received a sad follow-up, directly from Linda Starkweather:Richard, You were kind enough to share my POV article, The Challenge of Teaching Art in the Public School System, with your readers last year. I am now an Ex-teacher, in part I suspect, due to that article. I … [Read more...]

Another Favorite Education Video: Meet Nel Noddings

I can see by the web traffic to Dewey21C, that people seem to like videos. So, I am really pleased to bring to you a name that is not all that well known in arts education circles: Nel Noddings.If you want insight into the art of teaching, not to the tests, but teaching of actual human beings, and you also want to know more about what it means to care for your students as people, then Nel Noddings is just the ticket.When one thinks of counter-narratives to the corporatization of education, Nel Noddings may simply be the best there is. Ed Week: … [Read more...]

Books. Children. Arts. Education!

It's never too early to consider your holiday gift list. Today, I present to you a lucky 13 list of primarily arts-oriented books for children. The wonderful thing about these books, which for me is a big-time measure of children's book quality overall, is that adults will enjoy these books just as much as the kids.The list runs the gamut of music, dance, drama, and visual art. When Pigasso Met Mootisse The book cover tells you all you want to know. A lovely and fun book. I stand self-corrected: A great children's book.My sister Linda and her … [Read more...]

What do Children Need the Most?

A number of years back I was fortunate to attend a two-day conference on Arts, Technology, and Intellectual Property at Columbia University's American Assembly.  At the time I was working for the American Music Center, so the topic was something I had a vested interest in. As with most conferences, there was the introductory moment early on, where everyone in turn says a little something about who they are and why they are interested in the matter at hand. It's the let's go around the room and say a few words about ourselves moment.I have … [Read more...]

A Moment of Clarity: Test Scores in New York State Are Recalibrated

Many of you have no doubt heard the great news over the past few years about rising ELA and math test scores in the New York City Public Schools. But wait, there was more: test scores were rising all across the state, no matter what the intervention.The New York State Department of Education has recalibrated the state test scores for ELA and math, and this moment of clarity tells us that "just more than half of city students in the third through eighth grades are proficient in math, not four out of every five, as they were led to believe last … [Read more...]

Arts Education and the USDOE i3: Who, What, and How Much Requested

As an quick update: this just in via email from the USDOE i3 Team: Thank you for your participation in the Investing in Innovation (i3) program and for your efforts to improve public education. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) received nearly 1,700 applications for the i3 competition. We are pleased to share that we will announce the names of the highest-rated applicants on August 5, 2010. At that time, we will post a press release on the Department's Web site, as well as share further guidance on the required 20 percent … [Read more...]

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