los angeles

document dump

inequity in the classroom

where are they now

strike day 1

protest prep

portfolio pushback

What Teachers Want

portfolio push

hiring help

Student recruitment

New York

As in L.A., city advocates call for arts to be seen more as "core"

City Councilman Robert Jackson protested against cuts to arts education on the steps of City Hall in June 2011. A move made in Los Angeles last week to elevate arts classes to a special status is unlikely to be repeated in New York City soon, despite exhortations from local arts advocates. L.A. school board members unanimously approved a resolution to make arts a "core subject," or one considered essential to students' education. The proposal was aimed at insulating arts from further budget cuts and laying groundwork for a restoration of arts funding within five years. "The use of the term 'core' says that every child will be entitled to it, and when you use the word 'core,' there’s a financial expectation attached to it," the district's top — and only — arts official told Southern California Public Radio. "So when cuts are made, now that the arts are core, cuts will need to be spread across all the disciplines. Now the arts can be seen as important as social studies, science, math and language arts." New York City technically includes arts courses in what it considers core subjects, in keeping with federal and state language, according to Department of Education officials. But when the department awards schools for their students' success in passing academic courses, it leaves the arts out. On the city's annual city progress reports, high schools receive points based on how many classes students passed in the last year. Extra weight is given to English, math, science, and social studies courses, the ones the city considers to be at the core of the academic program. This year, for the first time, middle schools also received credit for the proportion of students who passed classes in those subjects. The change to the middle school progress report prompted seven leading arts advocates to petition city officials in late August to add arts to the Department of Education's list of core subjects. The advocates, who included the director of the Center for Arts Education and the chair of the New York City Arts Coalition, argued in a letter to Chancellor Dennis Walcott that the department's metrics signal to principals that it's okay to give the arts short shrift.