Blog Posts for arts policy

Life without the U.S. Department of Education!

Posted by Ms. Lynn Monson, Sep 18, 2015 0 comments

Just imagine how our lives in the arts would really be impacted if we didn’t have a U.S Department of Education (USDOE). This does not necessarily mean we would not have an ESEA, as the ESEA predates the U.S Department of Education (1965 and 1980 respectively), but they are fundamentally linked. So consider, if the USDOE was dissolved, how would that impact the reauthorization of the ESEA, and the arts in your locale? 

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Every Child Achieves: It’s Time for the Second Act

Posted by Susan Riley, Sep 18, 2015 0 comments

Anyone who has ever watched a play or a musical knows that there are two acts.  This summer, legislation moved forward to transform the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the first time in over 14 years.  The storyline from the first act has been filled with twists and turns with the arts seemingly being a cautionary tale in its wake.  So, what can we expect in the second?

Setting the Scene

We opened our story in 1965 with the groundbreaking Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  This original law was meant to provide more equity to schools across the country.  In 2002, we saw the revamp known as No Child Left Behind enter the scene with an “era of accountability” at its core. Testing - lots of testing - became the new normal. Schools were required to issue testing in reading and math so that we could get a measurement of their success or failure.  And ever since, the law has received nothing more than patches along the way. 

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How do we get the arts to young people?

Posted by Erik Holmgren, Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

The essential question that needs to be asked as Congress moves to complete the first substantive reauthorization of federal education legislation since 2001 is different than the one we may instinctively pose. It always seems that simplest truths are the most powerful and, in this case, the one thing that binds everyone reading this, is this: We believe in the arts as a powerful way to enhance the lives of young people. Young people need the arts.

With that simple seed, our guiding question in looking at federal legislation needs embrace that fundamental idea. When we look at the reauthorization of the ESEA, we need to broaden the question beyond ‘How do we get arts into schools?’ to ‘How do we get the arts to young people?’

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From ESEA to CPS: Arts are at the Core

Posted by Ms. Amysue Mertens, Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

It has been 20 years since Americans for the Arts and others worked diligently to ensure that the arts were included as core subjects in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As we celebrate Arts in Education Week in Chicago, I am reminded of how important the arts’ inclusion in ESEA truly is to not only our schools but to our community partners.

For more than 30 years, Chicago’s arts and culture community filled educational gaps, encouraged youth participation in the arts, and worked with CPS to incorporate the arts where it could given budgetary and instructional time constraints. My arts education for example, came largely from a gifted program offered by two community partners; the Art Institute of Chicago and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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ESEA THOUGHTS: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Posted by Donn Harris, Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

I became aware of the recent flurry of activity around the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) almost accidentally; the acronym ESEA was hardly familiar when I first heard it. I was at a California Arts Council meeting, our discussion in full view of the public, and the tape was rolling for posterity. I had been riffing on the entire NCLB experience as it had affected arts education, especially the past nine years (!!) of non-authorized, non-replaced limbo, when a staff member mentioned optimism about the upcoming Senate vote on the new bill, the Every Child Can Achieve Act. Later it passed by an 81-17 margin and now we await a House vote and most likely a bill on President Obama’s desk this fall.

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A Pivotal Moment for Arts Education

Posted by Mr. Doug Israel , Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

Here in New York City, and around the nation, this is a pivotal moment for arts education.

Fifteen years after the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, which many credit with a pronounced narrowing of the curriculum in public schools across the country, an earnest effort to reduce the most onerous mandates of the law is underway.

The conversation around school accountability is beginning to shift from a test-based model to a more holistic view of what we expect of our public schools. And advocates are making the case for a more robust role for arts education in the debate over reauthorization of NCLB.

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