Thursday, April 10, 2008

NYC Arts (Are Not) in Schools Report (a little late)

Here's the NYC DOE's First Annual Arts in Schools Report. This came out in early March, but I forgot to post.

Read the press release and then compare it to the shockingly low numbers that you see.

The "Next Steps" section doesn't seem to have much that is substantive yet, and vaguely touch on budget issues that are a major obstacle. However, the report is a first step in solving problems and does give some baseline info. Pretty interesting.

Just a quick summary of some points that I found interesting:

By NY state standards, elementary school students are supposed to be exposed to all four arts disciplines each year. Only 4% of schools currently do this. 77% of schools directly interact with local arts and cultural institutions, and through this, raise their percentages. However, the quality of these experiences and the longevity of them is questionable. Along with the ability of students to build meaningful relationships with these arts educators. Will the exposure and ability of schools to partner with this plethora of cultural institutions continue to substitute the presence of arts specialists in schools? Particularly in dance and theatre?

Middle School
"Middle schoolers prefer active over passive learning experiences." (Really? Wow!) Only 17% of middle schools offer all 4 arts disciplines.

Secondary Ed
More secondary schools meet the standards. But that's because the standards are lower. High school students are only required to take 1 year of an arts discipline.

82% of schools have certified arts teachers. Breakdown of certified teachers (as a percentage of total arts teachers):
  • 65% Visual Arts
  • 42% Music Teachers
  • 29% Theatre
  • 20% Dance

The percentage of students who receive high school instruction in the arts in theatre and dance is about 2%. It's in the 20-30% range for visual arts and music.

14% of schools have certified Dance and Theatre teachers vs. Music (45%) and Visual Arts (61%).

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