Sunday, March 9, 2008

NYC Schools Don't Meet Arts Standards

Less than 5% of NYC schools are meeting state arts standards.

Elementary students are supposed to be exposed to dance, music, theatre, and visual arts education each year. City schools are not required to report their arts programming to the state, though the announced in July that schools will receive a report card on the arts.

Wondering if a lack of certified teachers in the arts--particularly dance and theatre--contributes to this problem. I think we should have alternative routes or programs for teaching artists and artists to become teachers. As far as I know, organizations like Teach for America and NYC Teaching Fellows don't recruit teachers to the arts or don't define the arts as a high-need subject area or eligible subject area. Why not?

Yet, the Shubert Teaching Fellows program within the NYC Department of Education recruits certified teachers within the system (who are not certified in theater) to become theater teachers. The site claims "there is a need for licensed theater teachers." Why not broaden this to outside artists and show a commitment to recruiting highly qualified individuals to arts education?

Not sure the arts will ever receive its due focus while we continue to focus on banking models of education and positivist approaches to learning. How can we make a shift?

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