Uniting the Arts & Career and Technical Education

Posted by Narric Rome On September - 16 - 2011

Narric Rome

I recently attended a meeting of national arts education advocates and leaders from the career and technical education (CTE) community. It was a meeting designed to explore the policy efforts of both communities and to see if there was mutual interest in launching an initiative together.

It was clear from the 90 minutes we met that, from a national perspective, there is significant and deep parallels to our work and a joint approach has great potential.

Here’s what we discovered:

1)    Same Federal Challenges – At the federal level, both the arts and CTE have undergone similar treatment at the hands of the federal government. Like the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education, the federal CTE program was zeroed out annually in the Bush Administration budget, but funded by Congress each year. CTE programs are consistently targeted for reduction or termination, as they were in the recent H.R.1 legislation earlier this spring.

The similarities extend into our approaches to reauthorizing the Elementary & Secondary Education Act – CTE advocates would like to see greater use of multiple measures in assessments (addressing the narrowing of the curriculum which impacts us both), the promotion of our curriculum as a way to reduce the dropout rate, and a expansion of state data systems to provide greater insight into gaps of service and access issues. Read the rest of this entry »

America at a Cultural Crossroads

Posted by Tim Mikulski On August - 12 - 2011

On July 22, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch spoke as part of the Chautauqua Institution’s lecture series, discussing the arts and arts education in a speech titled “America at a Cultural Crossroads.”

You can view a portion of the speech below and the full speech at FORA.tv:

Arts Education Policy: Without Clout, There Will Be No Change

Posted by Robert Lynch On August - 11 - 2011

Robert L. Lynch

At Americans for the Arts, we see an opportunity to advance national arts education policy by working in a very specific way.

We focus on forging strategic alliances with key leaders in the public and private sectors and on working alongside these allies to educate the decision-makers who have leverage in the national policy arena.

We concentrate on giving those decision-makers meaningful research and specific information about the benefits of arts education in an effort to impact and inform future decisions about education policy.

This work is informed by the best practice examples surfaced by our national network of state and local advocates and the specific stories they share about the impact of arts education programs on the ground.

It is further shaped by the opportunities we create for high-level corporate, philanthropic, and thought leaders to take action personally and speak publicly about the value they see in arts education before new audiences.

All of this work builds the clout that is critical to the success of our decision-maker education effort. Without the clout, there will be no change. Read the rest of this entry »

Jeanie Duncan

(Note: This post is a continuation of Part 1 and Part 2 posted earlier this week)

Implementation: A Strategy-Focused Business Model

Our closest stakeholders and constituents had been a part of the research and discovery process with us along the way, participating in information gathering and report-out sessions. While we had been together through this process, changes were going to be significant, and nothing makes reality more sobering than implementation. The change, while it wasn’t easy, was supported by the voice of our community-at-large.

We rolled out our new plan and its supporting tactics beginning in spring 2009. Most notably, we:

•    Recruited new leadership reflecting the diversity of our community.
•    Formed teams to work on launching advisory groups for Hispanic/Latino, African American, and young adults with the goal of building relationships and engaging people in these sectors.  Read the rest of this entry »