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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...]

The Challenges and Just A Bit Of Irony: Bloomberg’s Gun Control Advocacy Finds a Hard Sell by Those in Power

Now this is a particularly interesting article.Bloomberg's Gun-Limits Coalition Grows, but Finds a Hard Sell in Washington, Elizabeth A. Harris, The New York Times, January 26, 2010But despite the coalition's size, its deep pockets and its muscular public relations operation, Mr. Bloomberg's campaign has failed to force major strengthening of federal gun control laws. 1. It casts a light on the long-term nature of advocacy efforts.2. It affirms the importance of fighting for what you believe.3. It shows that even Michael Bloomberg, with … [Read more...]

I Will See You One Waiting for Superman and Raise You One Race to Nowhere

Okay, bear in mind this movie does not have what Waiting for Superman had: the millions in foundation funding to support its promotion, nor a major broadcast network that devoted a week about K-12 education centered around it.But hey, how many documentary films gets a $2 million foundation grant for its promotion? (The answer is that most don't have a $2 million budget for anything!)>Well, today I present to you, unlike Waiting for Superman, a documentary about education where nothing has been staged!Race to Nowhere. Of course, this is the … [Read more...]

The Arts Education Canary in the Coal Mine?

I think that a lot of people don't realize that the past decade has seen historic increases to funding for public education. Some school districts, like the New York City public schools had an increase of 80% or more.It is a tough pill to swallow, once you realize that the historic increases to funding for K-12 public education did not propel a proportionate increase in the provision and access to quality arts education, particularly in urban, big city school districts.And now, with state spending falling off a cliff, in a time of profound … [Read more...]

Seattle Mayor and Public School Chief Academic Officer Host Arts Education Forum

This one is in the pretty cool category.I don't think it's all that often that a big city mayor and a the chief instructional administrator of a school district host and directly participate in an arts education forum.What you usually get, at most, is a proxy for the mayor, or perhaps a very brief speech. This event appears to be different, which makes it noteworthy.And what is more, the forum directly involves students!Nice.Click here to read: Seattle Mayor and Chief Academic Officer Host Arts Education Forum, from the Seattle Examiner.A panel … [Read more...]

Bringing Arts Education to The Huffington Post

I am really pleased to be able to share with the readers of Dewey21C the news that I am now blogging for the new education section of The Huffington Post.Click here to read: Waiting for All The Superheroes. I expect to post entries there somewhere between two to four times a month. It presents a somewhat different challenge than writing for Dewey21C: What I hope to bring to The Huffington Post, is a perspective on arts education to a publication that is not arts and arts education specific. For Dewey21C, my goal has always been framed by … [Read more...]

Pitting Arts Versus Sports

From today's Huffington Post comes a blog by George Heymont titled More Funding for School Arts Programs, Less for Sports.While Obama's Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is working to address the overwhelming problems facing America's schools, I've got one suggestion that is long overdue: Let's reverse the priorities previously given to sports activities and arts education in our schools. Let's make the arts a top priority in every school's extracurricular activities. Doing so might help develop more motivated, more sophisticated, more … [Read more...]

An Important Arts Education Advocacy Win in Cali

As announced in the San Jose Mercury News, Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have waived high school graduation requirements for arts education (and foreign languages), allowing students to opt for credits in career and technical education coursework instead.The real kicker here would have been the creation of a de facto caste system, whereby only those on a pathway to college are required to take the arts. Those who may go on to a vocation, well, they don't need the arts do they? As the son of a stagehand and a secretary, I … [Read more...]

I Support Choice–Choice in Opinions About Schools!

Well, it's already late day Wednesday, and I am a bit behind in posting my blog entries this week. That's what happens, I suppose, when you're a blogger with a board meeting (yesterday). Even with my board meeting over, I've been slammed with meetings.That being said, I am very happy to support choice when it comes to education. And to help illustrate that, here's a video of Diane Ravitch, which is my way of helping to make sure you have a choice of opinions to choose from about K-12 education in America. It comes from a September 24th address … [Read more...]

Forget Waiting for Superman. Read This Instead

There are two things people have asked me to blog about: Common Core Standards and Waiting for Superman.I am preparing an overview blog on the Common Core standards, that will look at why, how, when, and potential impact for arts education. That's on the worktable, so to speak.As for Waiting for Superman, rather than blog on the movie, oddly enough, I suggest you click on over to the NY Times and read this article about advancing from bubble tests.By shifting our assessment techniques, we would learn more of what we really need to know about … [Read more...]

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