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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...]

David Brooks Gets It Right

It seems simple, but that is not what is happening. Instead, legislators and administrators are simply cutting on the basis of what's politically easy and what vaguely seems expendable. In education, many administrators are quick to cut athletics, band, cheerleading, art and music because they have the vague impression that those are luxuries. In fact, they are exactly the programs that keep kids in school and build character. Click here to read The New Normal, The New York Times, March 1, 2011. … [Read more...]

15% Cut Projected for Arts Teachers in NYC

After a historic rise in spending for public education since 2003, during which time the New York City public school budget rose from $12.7 billion to $23 billion, where at last count 22% of schools lacked even one single certified teacher of the arts, where there was a 31% reduction in spending on cultural partnership and a 68% reduction on arts supplies, all preceding the great recession of 2008, we are now looking at a projected cut of 15% of arts and physical education teachers in the New York City public schools TweetArt, gym, music and … [Read more...]

From Tikkun Magazine: Arts Education as a Spriritual Act

From Joel Shatzky and Tikkun Magazine comes Arts Education as a Spiritual Act.As this trend continues to evolve and grow, the spiritual qualities of America which was once, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, the "last best hope of mankind" will have been extinguished, while along with the intellectual and cultural environment, the physical environment will continue to decline. In order to see the consequences of this "educational reform" movement let's examine what a large proportion of our young learners are not being adequately taught as "test … [Read more...]

The Sometimes Tenuous Link Between the Arts and Arts Education

A well known figure in arts philanthropy once said to me that there are many artists who shouldn't go into schools.Fair enough. Tweet That being said, still, I was quite struck by the fact that the negotiations between Detroit Symphony management and the musicians had as a sticking point the issue of making work in the community, including schools, a more formal part of what defines an official service.Here's an excerpt from the Detroit Symphony musicians website:There are many misconceptions out there about education and community outreach as … [Read more...]

Scorched Earth Educational Policy: Toledo Public School System to Eliminate All Elementary School Arts and Phys Ed

That's right, ALL arts and physical education. Click here to read End of Art in School Means End of A Legacy, from the Toledo Examiner.There was a radio interview with one of the Board of Education members and when they were asked when the child will be introduced to music the person said "...they can learn in church..." … [Read more...]

Will The Common Core ELA and Math Standards Override State Arts Standards?

I am a pretty big-time fan of the Common Core ELA and Math standards, primarily for the ways in which the standards are designed to broaden what has often been a very flat world of literacy and numeracy.And of course, the Common Core Standards has received a great deal of attention. It's here to stay for quite a while. That being said...The other day, as we were working on a grant proposal for the New York State Council on the Arts, we had an interesting discussion concerning the recently revised NYSCA guidelines:All projects should relate to … [Read more...]

How Important is Arts Education? The New York Times Asks Students

From The Learning Network of The New York Times, comes How Important is Arts Education?, by Katherine Schulten.As a follow-up to Chloe Veltman's recent piece on how youth choirs are flourishing despite cuts in arts education, Schulten asks the students to respond to:Does your school offer classes in music, drama, dance or the visual arts? What experiences have you had with arts classes yourself, whether in or outside of school? How important do you think arts education is for students in general? Why? Here are a couple of excerpts from the … [Read more...]

The Shanghaiing of Arts Education Part Two: All is Not What Meets The Eye

As a follow-up to The Shanghaiing of Arts Education, I am happy to direct you to a very interesting blog by Yong Zhao: "It Makes No Sense," Puzzling Over Obama's State of the Union Address.It's a very important read, as it tackles the emerging mythology on how China goes about educating its students:Is it true that "China and India started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science?" No, China has actually started to reduce study time for their children, with less emphasis on math and scienceI am not … [Read more...]

How I Learned to Love Steve Reich: Quality in Arts, and Arts Education

It happened again the other day: an assistant principal I know asked me about a conversation she had with one her music teachers. The conversation focused on whether or not a particular artist that the assistant principal was fond of was an artist of quality. The music teacher didn't think so. It was cause for the assistant principal to wonder who own and defines quality in the arts. Is it something that's based in style or genre? Is it about individual works? Is classical music or jazz better than rap? For some the questions are old hat. For … [Read more...]

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