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Guest Blog, Bruce Taylor: What is the Future Role for Arts In Public Education?

What is the Future Role for the Arts In Public Education? by Bruce Taylor  The increasingly contentious debate about school reform juxtaposes two contrasting realities about the arts:  one, that their place in our schools has been steadily and seriously eroded; the other, that the skills inherent in artistic practice are rapidly becoming essential to a healthy 21st century economy/society. Most articles concerning this disconnect focus their analysis outside the field emphasizing the combination of challenges that have resulted in the … [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, 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...]

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...]

Is A Liberal Arts Education Dead Meat?

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...]

A Living Mural At McKinley Middle School: Sustaining the Arts Across Years

Classes Come and Go, But the Mural Grows and Grows, by Fernanda Santos, The New York Times, May 18th, 2011The mural occupies the walls and steel doors along two floors of a middle school in Brooklyn. If turned into pavement, it would extend more than two city blocks.It's a terrific story about a terrific school that I know well. IS259 in Brooklyn was a long-term partner school of The Center for Arts Education.If you want to see a bit about the mural after reading the Times piece, I've included a nice video about the project.And, if you want to … [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...]

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