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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...]

What Does President Obama Want For His Kids?

A few weeks ago, President Obama offered some inspiring remarks about what he wants for his kids, the sort of remarks we heard on during the '08 primaries, but sadly, not much since. Nevertheless, I am glad to see this voice return on this, and other important issues such as the social safety net.Maybe his voice will begin to include arts education again, and even better, maybe some arts education friendly policies might appear thereafter.One can always hope!Click here to read the transcript.What is true, though, is, is that we have piled on a … [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...]

Arts Education and the USDOE i3: Who, What, and How Much Requested

As an quick update: this just in via email from the USDOE i3 Team: Thank you for your participation in the Investing in Innovation (i3) program and for your efforts to improve public education. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) received nearly 1,700 applications for the i3 competition. We are pleased to share that we will announce the names of the highest-rated applicants on August 5, 2010. At that time, we will post a press release on the Department's Web site, as well as share further guidance on the required 20 percent … [Read more...]

A Rapidly Growing Concern about Arts Education at the USDOE: Part Two

As part of the president's FY2011 budget request, the range of content and discipline-specific funding programs, including those for arts education, would be streamlined into three new categories: literacy, STEM, "what makes a well rounded education," where presumably arts education would be situated.This is a follow-up to my entry from last week: A Rapidly Growing Concern About Arts Education at the USDOE.So, essentially what would happen here is that many of the current discipline-specific programs, many of which receive line item funding … [Read more...]

College and Career Ready: A Possible Major Goal for the new NCLB

Oops, I did it again. NCLB is out! We're talking about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A front page piece appeared in today's Times about where ESEA is headed. Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), the engine of NCLB, appears to be heading for the hills, to be replaced by a broader measurement of progress, and a focus on "college and career readiness."The college and readiness piece is an interesting one, and would certainly be a major advance for ESEA. We've been hearing for quite some time now the concerns in higher education over those … [Read more...]

The USDOE Consults with the Arts Education Field on NCLB

Okay, we're not using the name NCLB anymore, and you might think this is a bait and switch, but if I used its formal name, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), you might not know what this blog is all about. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about an invitation that was extended to arts education leaders across the nation to meet with the USDOE about ways in which arts education could be supported in the reauthorization of what was formerly know as NCLB.If you want to know more about the history of ESEA, click here.Essentially, ESEA … [Read more...]

Reflections on Arts Education and the USDOE

It's interesting to see the fairly predictable responses to Arne Duncan's letter and web conference, where he articulated support for arts education on behalf of the USDOE and the White House. There is and should be a fair amount of gratitude across the field when a US Secretary of Education affirms the importance of the arts, even if the affirmation may at first blush appear to be more talk than walk. And in light of his comments about the central importance of parents to ensuring arts education, well, it was indeed newsworthy.I think the … [Read more...]

Six Key Quotes from Arne Duncan’s Web Conference on Arts Education

I know, I know, the full transcript and audio is coming. In the meantime, here are a few quotes. But before that, here's my headline:US Education Secretary Affirms the Importance of Parents in Ensuring Arts EducationHere are the highlights: 1."The elementary and secondary education act defines arts education as a core subject." 2. "The 2008 NAEP assessment of music and visual arts...reminded all of us that the arts are a part of a complete education and require kids to use creative and problem solving skills." 3."Arts education plays an … [Read more...]

A Good Read on Obama’s Education Agenda

It's still very early, and our President has a thing or two to deal with. So, like many, I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt on education (as well as the banks), while liking some of what he's doing in other areas.I know at least one person who has the viewpoint that Obama has managed to do things in education that please both the traditional left and the traditional right. He's given the left much greater dollars than ever before. He's given the right support for charter schools, expanded testing, merit pay for teachers, and more.Of … [Read more...]

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