Remember I told you about my interest in arts education and an increased focus on implementing a creative workforce rather than an industry workforce (for lack of a better term). The Center for Arts and Culture, maintained by Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group, sent this to me. It’s a roundup of national news related to arts in different categories. One of those is arts ed. Take a look. —J.S.

Education and the Creative Workforce

Music lessons: Why the school orchestra could be music to hard-pressed parents’ ears

Telegraph (UK), 1/12/2007

In the UK, “[c]hildren can take advantage of free musical instrument lessons in schools for a year under a £332m government initiative. The new scheme, introduced by Schools Secretary Ed Balls and aimed at creating a “musical culture” in schools, is being phased in by 2011. It will enable primary school pupils aged seven to 11 to benefit from free weekly specialist music tuition, learning in small groups or on their own.”

Schools are urged to toughen curriculum

Boston Globe, 11/28/2007

“Massachusetts high school students will be encouraged to take a more rigorous set of college preparatory courses under new guidelines adopted by the state Board of Education yesterday.” In addition to “four years of English and math, with Algebra II, and three years of science and history” the guidelines also recommend “two years of a foreign language, one year of arts, and five electives that could include business, health, technology, and vocational courses.”

Teachers: Arts fall with testing

Panama City News Herald (FL), 12/3/2007

“As schools grapple with state and federal laws, elective classes such as music and art are suffering. [Florida] requires students who scored a 1 or a 2 on the FCAT to get remediation in the failed core subjects,” but “[t]he two remediation periods replace two electives, so if students want to play in the band, they must stay after school. . . . [A]ll work and no play could lead to a higher drop-out rate, some educators say.”

The art of education must include the arts

Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/29/2007

In Philadelphia, “[s]chool district administrators confirm there are literally no music or art teachers in the city’s middle and high schools – even though music and art are core curriculum subjects with minimum standards for instruction. Those who care about arts learning in Philly schools are hoping that the School Reform Commission’s new CEO, Sandra Dungee Glenn, will include art and music in her priorities. For now, organizations such as the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership and the National Endowment for the Arts are picking up some of the slack.”