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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...]

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...]

Arts + Education = Butts in the Seats = ?!?

Advocate: It is essential that students experience Shakespeare. School Leader: I never really liked Shakespeare. Anne Midgette is always a good read. First, she's a cracker jack writer. Second, she isn't shy about her opinions. Third, you should hear her talk about food!! When she was writing for The New York Times, she had more than a few very pissed off performers complaining about her tough customer reviews.It was an extremely entertaining time for arts journalism in New York City. Anne posted a particularly interesting piece … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Arts Teachers As Endangered Species

Okay, I know, this makes two posts in a row about cuts to arts education. It is, as the Mark Knopfler song goes: "It's what it is."In this case, it's an old and quite sore subject. And yes, it's a subject that makes me angry and eager for new city leadership. For all of those who tell me I should be more guarded, sorry.In what many still argue is the arts capital of the world, the public school system can't find a way to provide a minimum of one year of arts education for all middle school students.While real education leaders like Michael … [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...]

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