an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

The Joe McCarthy of Art Education

Apologies first, to all those who love Joe McCarthy. He still has a big following in certain political circles. First it was an attack earlier this year on Maxine Greene and now it's an editorial that appeared in the Wall Street Journal: The Political Assault on Art Education, both by Michelle Marder Kamhi. A brief excerpt:  Ms. Desai is part of a growing movement of art education professors and others who think that the primary aim of art education should be to achieve what they view as "social justice." Their influence is evident in the … [Read more...]

Church Leaders Raise Concerns Over Obama Education Agenda

An Alternative Vision for Public Education--A Patoral Letter on Federal Policy in Public Education: An Ecumenical Call for Justice, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. This is one pretty great letter and I would urge you to read it. Here are a few "choice" excerpts: Not only has the language of the marketplace entered discussions of school governance and management, but we also notice that the language of business accountability is used to talk about education, a human endeavor of caring. The primary mechanism of the … [Read more...]

Connecticut Bolsters Graduation Requirements for the Arts

Dewey21C was pretty quiet last week. It happens, what can I say?With all the end of the fiscal year work to be put to bed, this will be my first post in over a week. But hey, it's a good one! As part of a comprehensive education "reform" bill signed into law by Connecticut Governor Jody Rell, additional credits are now required for graduation, including one credit of arts. In addition, the one credit humanities elective can be satisfied by an arts program, and even the STEM credit can be satisfied through things like music technology. A lot of … [Read more...]

“I Felt Like A Professional”–What a Teacher Told Me at a Recent Conference

I have to admit, that comment both was a potent pill, as it both pleased me and broke my heart. How could it be possible that the teachers feel so beleaguered? Well, one look at the major media around teaching and teachers, and well, you figure it all out in an instant. It was pleasing, of course, as an assessment of the all-day professional development conference. We got something right,  that fed the spirit of this teacher and her colleagues on Saturday, May 15th.Today, most of what you read in the media will lead you to believe that … [Read more...]

Guest Blog, Jane Remer: In Memoriam, Renee Darvin

In Memoriam - Renee Darvin Alas, alack the good die way too young, but I am glad to have seen, hugged and kissed Renee "goodbye" at a jam-packed gathering in her honor just a few weeks ago at Teachers College. I will keep the memory of her calm and smiling loveliness as she sat in the queen's seat with all her subjects around...all thanks to Judy Burton and the Art and Art Education Department. I have known and worked with Renee since the sixties, admiring her ability as a dedicated, imaginative and totally focused arts teacher of the young at … [Read more...]

The State of California Considers Bill That Will Hurt K-12 Arts Education

Essentially this bill means that students who attend career and technical education high schools in the State of California do not have to have any arts instruction, at all. They still have to have all the other subjects required for graduation, but not the arts. And the really bad news is that this bill appears to be moving full steam ahead.I am a big supporter of CTE. in fact, I am a member of the New York City Department of Education's Chancellors Advisory Council for Career and Technical Education. And my growing knowledge of CTE makes this … [Read more...]

John Schoenherr, Children’s Book Ilustrator, RIP

Last week I learned of the death of the book illustrator, John Schoenherr. My favorite among  his work was his partnership with Jane Yolen on the Caldecott Award Winning children's book Owl Moon. For my money, the Caldecott Award is a real measure of quality. Of course there are others like Newbery, Geisel, etc.  And, with a five-year old daughter, I spend time a lot of time looking for such books. On one side of the spectrum you find the fast food nation of books for children--the Nickelodeon, Barbie-sort of books. JHave you ever … [Read more...]

Guest Arts Education Blogger, Jon Deak: Creating Music with El Sistema, Part Three

Click here for Part Two Caracas, April 9-10, 2010 The excitement builds. Also the nerves. Have you ever noticed how, when you travel to a completely new environment, all emotions are magnified? The joys are expansive, the fears are bottomless, each event rings clear, vibrates with color. I feel I should go to bed wearing dark sunglasses! And yet, there is a penetration to truth and genuine learning, if only one can sort things out. After all, we're not talking here about hallucinations or drugs: These are real experiences. So begins our … [Read more...]

The Source of the Arts Education Nile: “Money is Policy”

When the categorical funding line for arts education in the New York City Public Schools was elminated, essentially to "empower the principals" and to increase the total budget available to each school, a good friend and colleague of mine who works for the NYCDOE said: "money is policy." Short and sweet. Don't ya think? And let's be clear here, we're not talking about soft money, which tends to be relatively small and short-term. We're talking about good old fashioned tax levy money, real deal school dollars. The kind that is … [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...]

an ArtsJournal blog