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Proposal to Scorch the Earth in Toledo Public Schools

There are times when the little policy matters seems irrelevant. Who cares if a subject is declared "core" by your state department of education or USDOE?Take a good look at this story coming out of Toledo. It is a rather stunning example of how a school district is proposing the elimination of all certified arts and physical education teachers and justifying it by declaring that the state doesn't deem the arts and physical education to be a core subject.Why fight for arts education positive policies?Your answer is in this new piece: click here … [Read more...]

The Mayor Of London Gets in Front of a City-Wide Music Education Plan

Well, apparently he's both in front of and behind the plan. In fact, Mayor Boris Johnson is clearly excited by this project.Click here to listen to him speaking about music education and this new project.Click here to view the plan.There are many local music services,orchestras, arts organisations, charities and schools which do excellent work. This strategy sets out how we will champion them, help them to grow and reach out to more Londoners.It is great to see such a plan put together, that clearly has the sort of real deal buy-in from the … [Read more...]

If There’s Only One Book to Read on K-12 Education, Read This One!

All the time, I run into people in the arts field who ask me to explain exactly what the hell is going on with K-12 education. Between vouchers, choice, turnaround, merit pay, alternative certification, race to the top, race to the bottom, AYP, value-added assessment, process-driven goals, backwards-mapped curriculum, and more, trying to get a handle on what all this means can conjure up one gigantic state of cognitive dissonance.So, let's say you can only deal with one book that will explain it all.This is the book for you.Run, don't walk to … [Read more...]

Can the Arts be a Central Part of Urban School Improvement?

Well, of course. Unfortunately, that answer is not widely known or embraced among the policy elites. That's part of our job as advocates.Middle School 223, once shuttered as one of the most violent middle schools in New York City, was reopened in 2003 as M.S. 223/The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology. Today, Principal Ramon Gonzalez says attendance is about 4 percent higher than at any middle school in the area. Meanwhile, test scores have risen from an 8 or 9 percent competency in reading and math to a whopping 65 percent of students … [Read more...]

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