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“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...]

Outgoing NY State Education Commissioner: What’s Really Wrong with Education

Directly from the New York State United Teachers Conference, is a somewhat startling video, for its honesty, caring, and content devoid of caustic political rhetoric."...committed to deepening and broadening the educational options for children, and stopping this class system of subjects, which is only ours, and no where else I know of."And of course, there's this quote: "somewhere a parent is explaining to a child why her music program has disappeared."And, well, why I appreciate the sentiment very much, and feel deeply for those who will … [Read more...]

Federal USDOE Arts Education Funding Cut, but Not Eliminated

There are many people across the country who have been waiting on tenterhooks to find out whether or not arts education funding at the United States Department of Education would be zeroed out. It includes funding for the Kennedy Center, VSA Arts, and the competitive grant programs: Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination and Professional Development for Arts Education.I am very happy to report that the $25 million that the Senate had proposed, which is a cut from $40 million, is in the budget agreement. A lot of people dug in to … [Read more...]

Worth The Time: A 1999 Conversation with Maxine Greene

From the December edition of, comes "An Arts Education Symposium," with the great Maxine Greene, Hollis Headrick, Polly Kahn, Frank Oteri, and me.For those who don't know Polly, she's the former education director at The New York Philharmonic, the 92nd Street Y, and other organizations. Today, she is the vice president for learning and leadership development, at the League of American Orchestras. Oteri, a well known figure in the new music world, was once a teacher at one of the toughest high schools in New York: Thomas … [Read more...]

A Interesting Conference Session on Arts Education and Equity

For anyone attending WNET's The Celebration of Teaching and Learning, tomorrow through Saturday, at The New York Hilton, I hope you will consider stopping by.I mean, how often do you get a rising star principal, a teachers union leader, and a member of the governing board for state education policy in one room together talking about arts education? A WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION IN THE AGE OF HIGH STAKES ACCOUNTABILITY - IS THERE REALLY TIME AND SPACE FOR THE ARTS? March 19th, 8:30-9:45 am, New York Hilton   School leaders face greater pressure … [Read more...]

A Voice of Reason Around Federal Funding

There is a great deal of concern in the arts and education field, focusing for the moment  the devastating cuts to arts education programs at the United States Department of Education. In the recent continuing resolution, arts education programs, as well as a host of other eduction programs were zeroed out. There's still a chance however, as some of the funding could be restored as the next, longer term continuing resolution (from mid-March through the end of September) is being negotiated, with the Senate calling for restoration of some … [Read more...]

Education Secretary Duncan Urges School Leaders to Go Easy on Arts Ed Cuts

Last week Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter and three policy letters to the Governors:Key Policy Letters to The Governors, March 3, 2011What you will find most interesting comes from the document Smart Ideas to Increase Educational Productivity and Student Achievement: First, Do No HarmChanges or cuts to education budgets, especially during periods of fiscal austerity, carry risks of unintended consequences.  Governors, policymakers, and educators can:   ü  Avoid short-sighted cost-cutting.  Efforts … [Read more...]

More Scorched Earth Education Policy: San Diego To Cut All Elementary Arts Teachers

It's pretty amazing, that a relatively strong district like San Diego Unified School District would make such plans:If trustees sign off on the budget proposal, it will mean the end of all elementary music education except for the program at Crown Pointe Junior Music Academy, which does not rely on visual and performing arts funding.Click here to read: School Music, Arts Programs on the Chopping Block, The San Diego Union-Tribune ( … [Read more...]

Rabkin and Hedberg Report on 25 Year Decline in Access to K-12 Arts Education

Last week the National Endowment for the Arts released three new commissioned reports, including Arts Education in America: What The Declines Mean for Arts Participation, by Nick Rabkin and E.C. Hedberg.There's a very good write-up on the report in Education Week, click here to read Arts Education Sees Declines, Especially for Minorities, Report Suggests, by Erik Robelen.The analysis includes a slightly broader pool of adults surveyed in breaking down the results by race and ethnicity, including those ages 18 to 24. Here, the data are most … [Read more...]

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