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Steve Jobs, Rest in Peace

I am writing this entry on an absolutely beautiful month or so old Macbook Air. The first computer I ever used was a Mac. There were two: a Powerbook 145B and a Centris 610. I think it was System 6. When I finally went to work at a shop that used PCs, I was stunned at how bad they were. Today, on my desk at Mannes The New School for Music, is a Macbook Pro. My days of using PCs are over. From making access to digital media and arts more widely available and easier to use than we could have ever imagined, to making machines that were both … [Read more...]

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

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...]

Guest Blog, Nick Rabkin: The Three Horsemen of Arts Education

It makes me happy to welcome back my good pal Nick Rabkin to Dewey21c.  --RK The Three Horsemen of Arts Education by Nick Rabkin       I’ve done research on teaching artists for the last three years—from Boston to San Diego—at NORC at the University of Chicago.  (My report is available for download at NORC’s website.)  The creativity, commitment, and accomplishment of many, many TAs has impressed me, and I’ve been encouraged by growing efforts in many communities to develop arts education more … [Read more...]

A Shot To The Foot: How The Arts Ed Field Can Be Its Own Worst Enemy

I have been meaning to write about this these two horribly disappointing Opininator posts in The New York Times: Beyond Baby Mozart, Students Who Rock, by David Bornstein Rock is Not The Enemy, by David Bornstein For about as long as I have been in this field, which is longer than I would now like to admit, I have witnessed the unfortunate tendency for us to shoot ourselves in the foot. It could be the arguments of discipline-based versus integration, it could be residencies versus field trips, aesthetic versus creative, blah, blah, … [Read more...]

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

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...]

I Hate to Be Out of Step: Have the Dividing Lines Among Musical Genres Disappeared?

I have had many a conversation about how the dividing lines among musical genres (and other arts disciplines) were "breaking down or blurring." So, as I was watching this video about a really swell festival taking place next month, "Sonic: Sounds of a New Century" by The American Composers Orchestra, I was quite struck by John Schaefer talking about the group of young composers (and I would add performers) for whom the dividing lines have simply disappeared. Take a look at this terrific teaser video, and follow the link below it if you … [Read more...]

Batuta — Columbia’s El Sistema. An Essay by Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall

As I write, I am staring out the window on the 7:00 Acela heading to DC from New York Penn Station. I have a board meeting of Common Core, for which I am board treasurer. What was a sunny day in New York, has turned into a deep fog. The train moves through the fog like a bullet through space. Oh, and let me make a plug for the upcoming report by Common Core on the narrowing of the curriculum. recently published a nice little feature. Fortunately, there is no fog to be pierced in Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall's essay Batuta, the … [Read more...]

Whiplash: Moving From K-12 to Higher Education

For those who have followed Dewey21C, hopefully you've noticed that I have been silent since the end of July. A month off from work followed that last post, and as we're blowing through September, I have started a new chapter in my career as Dean of the Mannes College The New School for Music. It's not all that often that one gets a month off. It was a month that I viewed as time to leave behind the past seven years at The Center for Arts Education, while clearing my mind for the very new challenge of leading a music conservatory that is … [Read more...]

A Favorite Arts Ed Video: The Mural Project at JHS256

I have always been fond of project-based learning. And this mural project is one true exemplar. The opportunities for many to be engaged in a multi-year arts project, that combines youth development, art, music, history, social studies, literacy, and more. Not to mention, it's a stunning work. Click on over to this YouTube video, and pass the link along to your friends. A Mural of Mythic Proportions … [Read more...]

Waiting For Godot. If You Test It They Will Come. (Updated)

With today's NY Daily News article about the New York City Department of Education's arts assessment program, I thought I would update and repost this entry from a few month's back. Let me start with some new thoughts and then segue right into the original entry. I was a member of the NYS Regents Task Force that helped to develop the assessment program for principal and teacher effectiveness in New York State, a program mandated by New York State law and paid for by the Feds, through Race to the Top funding. What we are talking about here … [Read more...]

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