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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...]

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...]

Books. Children. Arts. Education!

It's never too early to consider your holiday gift list. Today, I present to you a lucky 13 list of primarily arts-oriented books for children. The wonderful thing about these books, which for me is a big-time measure of children's book quality overall, is that adults will enjoy these books just as much as the kids.The list runs the gamut of music, dance, drama, and visual art. When Pigasso Met Mootisse The book cover tells you all you want to know. A lovely and fun book. I stand self-corrected: A great children's book.My sister Linda and her … [Read more...]

What do Children Need the Most?

A number of years back I was fortunate to attend a two-day conference on Arts, Technology, and Intellectual Property at Columbia University's American Assembly.  At the time I was working for the American Music Center, so the topic was something I had a vested interest in. As with most conferences, there was the introductory moment early on, where everyone in turn says a little something about who they are and why they are interested in the matter at hand. It's the let's go around the room and say a few words about ourselves moment.I have … [Read more...]

The Tools of Creativity, by Jon Deak

The Tools of Creativity By Jon Deak April 10, 2010 Hola Dani - You had asked me a very good and pointed question: "If you say that the children can already compose, then what exactly do you give them in your classes?" So, just to make things clear, I do want to give an answer to that. But first, we must recognize that all children are different, and that they have different needs to be addressed in order to speed them on their path to creativity. Still, there are basic needs and challenges that many of them share. And for that, we strive to … [Read more...]

Guest Blog, Jane Remer’s CliffNotes: Counting the Arts as An Act of Faith

Here's a big welcome back to Dewey21C's regular guest blogger, my dear friend Jane Remer. What Jane has on her mind is very well thrown dart landing right smack dead center in the bull's eye of what is on everyone's mind as they read about ESEA, Race to the Top, the Common Core standards project, and dare I even say the very existence of arts education as education budgets tumble all around us, namely how do we count the arts and to what end. … [Read more...]

Batter Up: The Federal i3 Grant Program

Today in Baltimore is the first of three technical assistance sessions across the country for potential applicants to the USDOE's i3 program. I have written two different entries on i3, click here and click here to read them.In a nutshell, the USDOE has set aside $650 million of Federal stimulus funds for education for this competitive grant program. The deadline for applications is May 11; and the "intent to apply" is "requested" by April 1st. The final guidelines were released on March 8th. There were relatively minor changes made in the … [Read more...]

Arts Eduation and ESEA: Where do the Arts fit in National Education Policy?

National Education Policy you may ask, you didn't know there was one!  Well, after reading the USDOE's A Blueprint for Reform--The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it struck me that this was the closest thing we will get to a national education policy. For those hell bent on seeing something like this in the arts realm (national cultural policy), it might not be a bad idea to read this Blueprint.If you haven't yet heard, last week the administration released its plan for the reauthorization of the Elementary … [Read more...]

STEM To STEAM: Is it Just a Lot of Hot Air?

And I am not talking about how to get the old school radiators in my office to stop all that loud banging when they heat up. (That is technically known as Steam Hammer.)There's a funny look people get on their face when they use the line: let's turn STEM to STEAM! It's a cute little smile, like they just said something really clever. It's a fine line however, between clever and cute, at least as in "being a bit too cute."It's the latest attempt to wedge the arts into something else. One day it's STEM the next day it's 21st Century Skills. Okay, … [Read more...]

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