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Federal K-12 Arts Ed Funding on the Chopping Block Again

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In case you missed  it, on September 29th, in Ed Week's Curriculum Matters blog was this article: STEM Ed. Among Cuts Sought in Draft House Budget Plan. The House is at it again, proposing the zeroing out of K-12 arts education at the USDOE, as well as a host of other vital programs, including the Mathematics and Science Partnerships, and the Teaching American History grants. At the same time: The House plan does propose increases in at least a few areas. For example, it would raise spending on the Title I program for disadvantaged … [Read more...]

Arts + Education = Butts in the Seats = ?!?

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Advocate: It is essential that students experience Shakespeare. School Leader: I never really liked Shakespeare. Anne Midgette is always a good read. First, she's a cracker jack writer. Second, she isn't shy about her opinions. Third, you should hear her talk about food!! When she was writing for The New York Times, she had more than a few very pissed off performers complaining about her tough customer reviews.It was an extremely entertaining time for arts journalism in New York City. Anne posted a particularly interesting piece … [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...]

Register for Grantmakers in Arts Webinar on The Common Core Standards

Arts Education: Common Core What Are the Possibilities for the Arts? Tuesday, June 21, 2:00 EDT/ 11:00 PDT Julie Fry, Program Officer, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Richard Kessler, Executive Director, The Center for Arts Education More than two-thirds of the states have adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts, and math, establishing clear guidelines for what students need to know and be able to do in order to graduate from high school prepared for college and/or a career. Now that leaders are beginning to ask for … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

“Good Schools Have the Arts” — What We Want For All of Our Kids

...we seek leadership that understands fully that subjects like the arts are overwhelmed by an accountability system build on test scores in reading and math, and that in order to buoy the arts, tools such as categorical funding are a necessity.Here's a guest editorial that I did for Education Update, a really terrific local education news journal in New York City.Sometimes, it feels good to speak plainly. This was one of them.Click here for a link to the full edition.Or you can simply grab my editorial, which ran side-by-side with one by … [Read more...]

Read All About It: President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities Releases Arts Ed Report

That's right, just released this Friday afternoon May 6th, is Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools. I love that title, and can only wish their words to Arne Duncan, all the chief state school officers, all the school superintendents, and all the school principal's ears...I am a big fan of Rachel Goslin, who runs the President's Committee. I am eager to spend some time with this and I hope that you will too!The PCAH's goal is to support a climate in American schools where all students are engaged, … [Read more...]

Waiting For Godot: If You Test it They Will Come

Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot): "But that is not the question. Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come."Margaret Spellings: "We measure what we treasure."Diane Ravitch: "How do you measure friendship, character, integrity?" "...you do some things not for economic reward, and not because they are utilitarian, but because they are right."More and more, I am hearing that since we teach what we … [Read more...]

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