Articles in the Arts Education category

NSBA and Kennedy Center seeking school boards for arts education award

Nominations are now open for the annual arts education award for school boards given by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAN). The award, which comes with a $10,000 check, honors a school board that has provided high-quality arts education in its school district.

The KCAAN and NSBA Award recognizes districts that have included all four major artistic disciplines—visual arts, music, theater, and dance—in their programs.

The program accepts only one nomination per U.S. state, which must be coordinated with the local state school boards association, state alliance for arts education, or both organizations jointly. (School boards in every U.S. state are eligible for nomination regardless of whether their state has a state alliance.) Final selection is made by a national panel of arts educators and arts administrators including representatives of the KCAAEN and NSBA.

The national award is presented at NSBA’s Annual Conference, which will be held April 5 to 7, 2014, in New Orleans.

The Austin, Texas school board received the 2013 award for strategic planning that incorporated arts education into Austin schools’ core curriculum. The district set measurable goals and standards to ensure the program’s success and then uses that data to guide its budget and strategic planning. More information about past winners is available on the KCAAN website.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|August 14th, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Arts Education, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , |

NSBA, Impact Aid districts warn of consequences of federal budget cuts

Federal budget cuts are coming for every school district this fall—but the reality of teacher layoffs and program cuts already are here for school districts that receive Impact Aid.

Two district officials who already have endured the first round of scheduled cuts shared their experiences in a teleconference organized by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS).

NSBA is continuing to lobby Congress through its grassroots network to stop or mitigate sequestration, the automatic, across-the-board cuts that took place when Congress failed to pass a budget in March.

“We urge Congress to develop a plan that not only protects education as a civil right but also as a national security interest,” said NSBA President David A. Pickler, who added that while “federal dollars are going away, the mandates remain.”

Pickler, a member of the Shelby County school board in Memphis, said his district plans to lay off instructional coaches, who work with struggling learners and help prepare students for tests, and behavioral interventionists, who help students with significant behavioral issues.

Impact Aid, the fund that reimburses school districts that lose tax revenue because of federally controlled land, was the only major K-12 program that saw immediate budget cuts; other K-12 programs will be pared down about 5 percent beginning Oct. 1 and will see scheduled decreases over the next 10 years. Some Impact Aid districts have had to cut academic programs, teachers, and paraprofessionals in the middle of the school year.

Karen Gray, the president of the Silver Valley Unified School District’s board, said the district’s preschool that serves many special-needs children had seen the brunt of this year’s cuts. The Yermo, Calif., school district includes a military base, and educating students whose parents are deployed creates additional challenges, Gray noted.

“Our board and staff continuously adjust our finances,” she said. The district has avoided teacher layoffs so far by eliminating jobs through attrition.

Roy Nelson, a school board member in the Red Lake Independent School District in Red Lake, Minn., said his district had eliminated seven teacher jobs and three paraprofessional jobs and scaled back elementary music and tutoring programs.

Parents, though, are concerned about school safety given last year’s shootings in Connecticut and a shooting in 2005 that killed seven students at a Red Lake high school, Nelson said. But the district cannot afford to hire more security guards.

More than 700 school boards have passed resolutions asking Congress to pass a budget that fully funds K-12 education programs. Go to NSBA’s Stop Sequestration webpage for more information and sample resolutions.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|May 23rd, 2013|Categories: Arts Education, Board governance, Budgeting, Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation, School Boards|Tags: , , , , |

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees receives national award for outstanding school board support of the arts

Today, Texas’s Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees received the 25th annual Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN) and National School Boards Association (NSBA) Award. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, was presented at the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Annual Conference in San Diego. Since 1989, this prestigious national award has recognized school boards for their support of arts education.

The Austin district was chosen from nominees around the country for its outstanding support of high-quality arts education. Finalists for the award include: Florida’s School Board of Hillsborough County; Michigan’s Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education; Minnesota’s Minnetonka Public Schools Board of Education; and Virginia’s Roanoke City Public Schools School Board.

“Austin is a well-known as a community rich in the arts,” said Darrell Ayers, Vice President of Education at the Kennedy Center. “We are pleased to recognize a school board and administration that extends that culture to the classroom and provides students with a comprehensive arts education.”

The award honors the work of the 2012 school board in Austin led by President Mark Williams, Vice President Vince Torres, Secretary Lori Moya, Cheryl Bradley, Sam Guzman, Christine Brister, Robert Schneider, Annette LoVoi, and Tamala Barksdale. The school board distinguished itself as a national leader in arts education through thoughtful policy, wise funding decisions and data-driven strategic planning. For example, the district’s strategic plan moved the arts from an enrichment discipline to a core academic subject, establishing its goal and measurable benchmarks to increase access and support for high quality fine arts instruction as part of a strong core academic curriculum for all students. Despite a series of significant budget cuts, the board maintained support of the fine arts staffing during two reductions that cut more than 1,500 staff positions.

The school district supported the Any Given Child process to determine inequities that might exist in the district and make recommendations to remediate them. The district has advanced a programmatic plan to make all schools arts-rich schools by 2023, with an associated bond package to provide appropriate infrastructure support. Actions like these send a clear message that learning in the arts in Austin is not an enrichment activity, but central to the cognitive and social development of young people. The Austin Board of Trustees says it plans to use the award to support professional development opportunities for Austin school district teachers. Investing in staff will provide assurances the district can sustain the benefits of the arts and creative learning.

“NSBA is proud to recognize outstanding arts programs that greatly benefit student learning,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “These programs are achieved only with the full support of the school board and administration.”

Each year, a national review panel selects the first place school district from a pool of nominees selected by State Alliances for Arts Education and state school boards associations. School districts selected for this national honor must demonstrate support for all four core disciplines in arts education programs: visual arts, music, theater, and dance. Instruction and programming must be available for all students throughout the district. The ways in which the school district develops collaborative partnerships with the cultural resources available in the community are also an important consideration in reviewing nominations.

Alexis Rice|April 15th, 2013|Categories: Arts Education, NSBA Annual Conference 2013|Tags: , , , |

Education Talk Radio previews NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference

Kanisha Williams-Jones, Director of Leadership & Governance Services at the National School Boards Association (NSBA), was a guest today on Education Talk Radio providing a preview of NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference. Thousands of school board members, administrators, and other educators will be coming to San Diego to take part in the April 13-15 event.

Listen to the broadcast:

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The conference will feature more than 200 sessions on timely education topics, including federal legislation and funding, managing schools with tight budgets, the legal implications of recent court cases, new research and best practices in school governance, and the Common Core State Standards. A series of sessions will focus on school safety and security.

Expanded education technology programming will include site visits to the University of San Diego and Qualcomm’s Mobile Learning Center to explore its research laboratory on mobile learning; Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to examine the technology in science education and STEM; Encinitas Union School District to view its One-to-One Digital Learning Program; and the San Diego Zoo to learn about the cutting-edge learning tools used to teach at-risk students. U.S. Navy SEALs will show leadership and team building skills during another workshop.

The meeting also includes one of the largest K-12 educational expositions, with some 300 companies showcasing their innovative products and services for school districts.

General Session speakers include Academy Award winning speaker Geena Davis, who will be speaking about her work off-screen as founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis works with film and television creators to reduce gender stereotyping and increase the number of female characters in media targeted for children 11 and under. She will explain how media plays a key role in children’s development, and how her organization is making a difference.

Television star Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the world’s most engaging and passionate science advocates, will headline Sunday’s General Session. From PBS to NASA to Presidential Commissions, organizations have depended on Tyson’s down-to-earth approach to astrophysics. He has been a frequent guest on “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, R”eal Time with Bill Maher”, and “Jeopardy!”. Tyson hopes to reach “all the people who never knew how much they’d love learning about space and science.”

Monday’s General Session features acclaimed researcher and author Diane Ravitch, who has become one of the most passionate voices for public schools. Her most recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, makes the case that public education today is in peril and offers a clear prescription for improving public schools.

Learn more about the common core standards, new research on differentiated learning styles, and teaching “unteachable” children at the Focus On lecture series. Learn about new technologies for your classrooms as part of the Technology + Learning programs.

It’s not too late to register, visit the Annual Conference website for  more information.

Nominations open for $10,000 Kennedy Center/NSBA arts education award

For 25 years the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have honored school boards that support high-quality arts education programs in their schools.

The $10,000 annual prize recognizes districts that have included all four major artistic disciplines– visual arts, music, theater and dance– in their programs. Last year’s award went to the School Board of Palm Beach County.

Each state may nominate one school district for the award, and applications are available at the Kennedy Center’s website. Each state’s nomination to the national-level may come from the State School Boards Association, the State Alliance for Arts Education, or the State Association and the State Alliance jointly. (In states where an Alliance is not active, please contact your state school boards association for a letter of support that you must upload and submit with the online form.) Final selection is made by a national panel of arts educators and arts administrators including representatives of the Kennedy Center and NSBA.

The deadline for submissions this year is Dec. 3, and the winning school district may receive its award in front of thousands of peers at the NSBA Annual Conference, held April 13 to 15, 2013 in San Diego.

Learn more about the winning school districts in this previous School Board News Today article.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|October 19th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, Arts Education, NSBA Annual Conference 2013|Tags: , , |

NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference to feature Geena Davis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Diane Ravitch

Registration and housing for the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) 73rd Annual Conference, to be held April 13 to 15 in San Diego, is now open. Join more than 5,000 school board members and administrators for an event with hundreds of sessions, workshops, and exhibits that will help your school district programs and help you hone your leadership and management skills.

General Session speakers include Academy Award winning speaker Geena Davis, who will be speaking about her work off-screen as founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis works with film and television creators to reduce gender stereotyping and increase the number of female characters in media targeted for children 11 and under. She will explain how media plays a key role in children’s development, and how her organization is making a difference.

Television star Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the world’s most engaging and passionate science advocates, will headline Sunday’s General Session. From PBS to NASA to Presidential Commissions, organizations have depended on Tyson’s down-to-earth approach to astrophysics. He has been a frequent guest on “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, R”eal Time with Bill Maher”, and “Jeopardy!”. Tyson hopes to reach “all the people who never knew how much they’d love learning about space and science.”

Monday’s General Session features acclaimed researcher and author Diane Ravitch, who has become one of the most passionate voices for public schools. Her most recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, makes the case that public education today is in peril and offers a clear prescription for improving public schools.

Learn more about the common core standards, new research on differentiated learning styles, and teaching “unteachable” children at the Focus On lecture series. Learn about new technologies for your classrooms as part of the Technology + Learning programs.

Special discounted rates are available for early registrants who sign up by Jan. 10, 2013. NSBA National Affiliate and Technology Leadership Network Districts save even more.

View the conference brochure for more details. Be sure to check the Annual Conference website for updates and more information.

 

 

Palm Beach, Fla. school board wins Kennedy Center arts award

The School Board of Palm Beach County, Fla. received the 24th annual Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN) and National School Boards Association (NSBA) Award on April 23 at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston.

This national award, which was created in 1989 and includes a $10,000 prize, recognizes school boards for their support of arts education.

According to the Kennedy Center, the School Board of Palm Beach County was honored because it strives to provide a world-class arts education for each of its 172,000 students, using funding from community partners, grants, individual fundraising, and the school board.

In 2005, the School Board of Palm Beach County established an Arts Education Task Force that developed an arts business plan, which calls for the district to develop partnerships with cultural organizations. The district has used these opportunities for professional development, artist residencies, and curriculum collaborations.

The school board also gave funding for the district’s fine arts teachers to develop lesson plans based on the new standards in visual arts, theater, dance, and music. Hundreds of these arts-related lesson plans are uploaded to an online repository, making them available to all the district’s teachers.

Although the region faced a declining economy, the School Board of Palm Beach County not only kept all existing arts programs in place, but pushed a tax referendum to secure all art and music teacher positions in the county. The school board plans to use the award money to expand dance education and string education programs across the district.

Darrell Ayers, vice president of education and jazz at the Kennedy Center, presented the award. “The School Board of Palm Beach County’s belief in and commitment to the arts in education is undeniable,” he said. “It is clear they will continue to serve as ambassadors for arts advocacy in their state for years to come.”

Each year, school boards are nominated by State Alliances for Arts Education and State School Boards Associations. Finalists for the 2012 award include: Anne Arundel County Public Schools Board of Education, Annapolis, Md.; Caddo Parish School Board, Shreveport, La.; Durham Public Schools School Board, Durham, N.C.; Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Education, Fort Worth, Texas; Kodiak Island Borough School District Board of Education, Kodiak, Alaska; Lima City School Board, Lima, Ohio; and Minnetonka Public Schools District Board of Education, Minnetonka, Minn.

According to the Kennedy Center, school districts selected for this prize must demonstrate support for all four disciplines in arts education programs, including visual arts, music, theater, and dance. Instruction and programming must be available for all students throughout the district. Another important factor is a school district’s partnerships with the cultural resources available in its community.

 

Erin Walsh|May 2nd, 2012|Categories: Arts Education|

Preparing students for a ‘future we can’t describe’

David Warlick was riding a train from North Carolina to Washington, D.C., when a rustic stone pyramid in the landscape caught his eye. He snapped a picture with his phone’s camera, then posted it on Twitter and asked if anyone knew what it was.

Within five minutes, a woman responded that it was a memorial to a Civil War general.

What makes this story so remarkable was that the woman who sent the information was in New Zealand, Warlick added.

The founder of the Landmark Project used this anecdote to show that technologies such as Twitter have completely — and rather suddenly — changed the way the world communicates and obtains information. Those ways are particularly compelling to students, and school board members must find ways to harness – not ban — these technologies to understand the youngest generation and teach them more effectively.

Educators repeatedly have been given the message to embrace technology in education. But figuring out what that means—and what to do about it—remains an elusive goal for school board members.

Warlick shared his thoughts in an interactive session at the final session of NSBA’s Leadership Conference Sunday. Attendees shared their reactions online during the presentation in a Twitter-like chat room called Knitterchat.com, which Warlick created. He uses the Knitterchat platform not only as a way to further discussions and answer questions from participants but also as an example of how students use technology to access information.

Today’s students “have almost no formative recollection of 20th century. They are 21st century learners,” he said. “Yet they are still learning in 19th century classrooms.”

Warlick showed examples of his college-age son’s videography and texting as ways the younger generations use technologies to gain information and communicate. Rather than fear cell phones, social media, and video games, educators should use them as classroom tools, Warlick said.

“Things have to change — we are for the first time in history preparing children for a future we can’t describe,” he said. “So what do our children need to be learning for an uncertain future?”

For one, education policy experts have repeatedly emphasized the need for more classes tied to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects because so many future jobs will be in those fields. But Warlick argued for a similar emphasis on creative arts, including music, drama, and culture.

Not only will those classes stimulate learning in STEM topics and other areas, but these students will be prepared for careers that require creative arts skills to support STEM fields, such as designers for the casings of new technology products.

He suggested questions that school board members should ask, including, “What are the children learning that I didn’t learn?” and, “How the schools are using this new information environment to touch their communities?”

For more information on Warlick’s work, visit http://landmark-project.com.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 5th, 2012|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Arts Education, Educational Technology, Leadership Conference 2012|Tags: , , |

NSBA’ s president discusses school climate on Education Talk Radio

Mary Broderick, president of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), recently appeared on Education Talk Radio and discussed school climate and NSBA’s Students on Board initiative. Broderick talked about how school boards are addressing  and finding solutions to improve school climate.

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In August, Broderick discussed school climate on Comcast Newsmakers, check out the video.

Alexis Rice|November 8th, 2011|Categories: Arts Education, Bullying, Center for Public Education, Diversity, Dropout Prevention, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Boards, Student Achievement, Student Engagement, Teachers|Tags: , , |

Analysis: NBC learned its lesson with this Education Nation

Glenn Cook, American School Board Journal’s editor-in-chief, attended NBC’s Education Nation summit in New York for the second straight year. Here are his observations.

You can’t blame traditional public school advocates if they were filled with dread when NBC announced that Education Nation would return this fall. Last year the network bought into the hype surrounding the documentary “Waiting for Superman,” inexplicably tying the event to a flawed film that exhorted charters as the pancea for public education’s ills.

Thankfully, NBC has learned its lesson. This year’s event took pains to correct past wrongs as it recognized the complexities school leaders face in managing a public system that is open to all.

Starting with a screening of “American Teacher,” a documentary that helped erase some of the “bad teachers” taste left by “Superman,” and ending with an appearance by former President Bill Clinton, Education Nation featured a strong balance of heavy hitters from education, philanthropy, and politics.

You also had a touch of celebrity — basketball player Lebron James, actress Jennifer Garner, and what amounted to a family reunion with former Gov. Jeb Bush and First Lady Laura Bush participating in sessions — but in this case, it fit the overall tone.

The key word here is balance. Last year’s programming was flawed because it exhorted simple antidotes to complex problems. This year, silver bullets were nowhere to be found, but calls for more effective teaching and improvements to early education were.

You can watch many of the sessions online at www.educationnation.com, but here is my list of highlights:

• Start with “Brain Power: Why Early Learning Matters,” a fascinating hour-long session featuring Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, and three university professors. Held on Monday morning, it was the best, most concise presentation I’ve seen yet on why we need to reach children much, much earlier than we do.

• The dramatic rise in poverty rates was a focus throughout, especially in the session “What’s in a Zip Code?” moderated by Brian Williams. Poverty is reality for many people in today’s economy — Clinton was eloquent on this topic in the closing session — and communities must come together to do more.

• Education Secretary Arne Duncan was everywhere this year, participating in interviews with Tom Brokaw and responding to questions during various panels (a nice touch).

• We saw an entertaining back and forth between Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone and Diane Ravitch, author and professor of education at New York University. Their approaches are so different, but both made excellent points. Canada and Sal Khan, another Education Nation speaker, are scheduled to keynote NSBA’s 2012 Annual Conference.

• Teacher and student accountability, as you might expect, was a recurring theme. Michelle Shearer, the current National Teacher of the Year from Maryland’s Urbana High School, said teachers “want to be evaluated on things that really matter.”

“There are all sorts of different ways of looking at student growth,” she said. “Whatever evaluation looks like in the end, it has to be a system of multiple measures, because often what’s most important are those intangibles … that are tough to put on a check list.”

• At the same session, Khaatim El, a former member of the Atlanta school board, addressed the cheating scandal that has plagued the district he served for almost a decade. “We wanted to be the hype,” he said of the allegations, which are based on the state assessments. “We wanted to be the first to get it right so bad.”

But El noted the district also made huge gains in NAEP scores during that time, an achievement untouched but overshadowed by the scandal. “I would be remiss if I didn’t point to the hard work that many educators put in,” he said. “We focused on the basics. Literacy instruction in elementary school. Autonomy for principals. We invested in professional development. Those things were overshadowed by the cheating scandal. And they were good things for kids.”

The setting for Education Nation was not perfect — the big tent in Rockefeller Plaza is a good idea in theory, but the humidity and poor audio were ever-present distractions. And while this year’s session was far more substantive, future years should stop belaboring the problems and focus instead on how to solve them. Panels featuring districts that have been successful at “what works,” with ideas and content that are easily imitated and replicated, would be a valuable start.

Chances are good that will happen. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) had a strong presence in the planning and execution of the meeting. Anne L. Bryant, our executive director, met with NBC officials about the content and answered audience questions in a video Q&A format prior to the event. Mary Broderick, NSBA’s president, was featured in a panel session with the mayors of Albuquerque, Baltimore, and Newark.

“What we’ve heard from the last two days of this conference is that we need to come together around a sense of urgency,” Broderick said during her session, noting that it takes a shared vision between the school board, the mayor’s office, and the community. “The vision needs to be of excellence. If that cohesive message can be carried through our schools … there’s nothing off the table.”

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