This is a terrific article written last May for the Washington Post online magazine. My friend and fellow arts instructor, Jan, sent it to me today. It reiterates what I have been saying to anyone who will listen: Improved test scores are not an adequate reason to include or exclude a subject area. Arts have intrinsic value not specifically related and yet foundational to learning in core subject areas.
My husband found an interesting blog post on the idea of the teacher-led school model. The idea of a greater presence in the classroom for decision-makers is one which piques my interest. I am fortunate to work in an educational community where everybody’s involved in student life. It’s a bit like living in a small town. Mrs. Crabtree tells your Sunday School teacher what she saw and the milkman noticed something too and we’re all talking to your mom. But I digress… Enjoy the post:
This post from TheArtsRoom (in Rhode Island) preaches to the choir but I think you will enjoy many of the quotes. The book mentioned in the post, Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith, is one of my favorite teacher resources. I have a copy in my bookshelf and I ordered one for our school’s library. Enjoy the rest of the reblog!
via The Arts Room
Ken Busby is the author of this post on the Americans for the Arts website. He is also the director of my local Arts and Humanities Council. I think Ken has some insight into the missing piece for promoting arts education: the business community. I hope you enjoy his blog. We are very proud of the work Ken and the staff at the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council does. It would be so cool if every community had a similar staff of arts advocates.
“We started to treat the arts program like we treat all the other departments that matter in our school.” That’s what Rose Greco, literacy coach, for MS 223 in New York City says about the reason for the success of the School Arts Support Initiative (SASI) in her school. An article in the February 2011 issue of Middle Ground (the National Middle School Association‘s practitioners’ magazine) features a different kind of educational program. In 2008 the Center for Arts Education launched, “a multiyear research project in four New York City middle schools that provided little or no arts education.” The program began having immediate results. According to the article, “The impact was apparent in improved student attendance and social behaviors. Results on local and standardized tests showed greater overall proficiency. The culture of each school began to change. Faculty members, administrators, and visiting artists noticed the changes… Attendance has improved dramatically… English Language Arts scores improved despite less time devoted to test preparation… Suspensions declined. Students have also acquired artistic skills that have increased their likelihood of being accepted to arts-focused high schools.” In this video from MS 223, staff members reveal the reasons they believe the program works: