The articles collecting here discuss a diverse set of opinions about education in the 21st century. Please share others that you think will contribute to open and thoughtful debate around this issue:

WhoopDeDooPortlandDaniel Denvir: School: It’s way more boring than when you were there September 9, 2011. New studies show that the disappearance of art, music and even recess is having a devastating effect on kids.

A conversation between thirty-one arts / arts education leaders from across the country arts education about the myriad issues and challenges facing the field in moving arts education forward.

Kristen Engebretsen: Americans for the Arts, Artsblog: Investing in Arts Education = Investing in Innovation. July 14,  2011

EducationLotteryMark Phillips reviews ‘American Teacher’: A Film on Education That Gets It Right. Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2011. “Every policymaker should be required to see the new film “American Teacher,” which powerfully reveals the huge challenge that the country faces in attracting and keeping the best teachers to help improve public education.”

Mike Boehm: L.A. County arts education program wins national award. Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2011 “As the governor of Kansas eliminates his state’s government arts agency, America’s top arts-support organization has tapped a government arts initiative by Los Angeles County for its annual award for excellence in arts education…. “Particularly at a time when school districts face dire fiscal circumstances, Arts for All’s steady commitment has kept arts education at the forefront of school and community leaders’ consciousness,” said Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts.”

Biblio Burro, Luis Soriana Bohorquez

Biblio Burro, Luis Soriana Bohorquez

John M. Eger: Arts Integration in Canada: America’s Wake Up Call. Huff Post Education Dec 8 2011. All the action integrating the arts into the K-12 curriculum is already well underway, in Canada.

Anu Partanen: What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success. The Atlantic, Dec 29 2011 “Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.”

Pedestal for a little girl, Miranda July, 2007

Pedestal for a little girl, Miranda July, 2007

Seth Godin: Stop Stealing Dreams: a manifesto. The universal truth is beyond question—the only people who excel are those who have decided to do so. Great doctors or speakers or skiers or writers or musicians are great because somewhere along the way, they made the choice.

Kelly Chen & Imani M. Cheers: STEAM Ahead: Merging Arts and Science Education, PBS Newshour. At Wolf Trap’s Institute of Education, they are trying something different by incorporating art with math and science. It’s part of a different STEM movement gaining momentum, called “STEAM” – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, a match that may seem a little strange, but a no brainer for some.

Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights International: Labeling Kids with Bogus ‘Mental Disorders’ 20 million children are labeled with “mental disorders” that are based solely on a checklist of behaviors. There are no brain scans, x-rays, genetic or blood tests that can prove they are mentally ill, yet these children are prescribed dangerous and life-threatening psychiatric drugs. Child drugging is a $4.8 billion-a-year industry.

David Brooks: The New Humanism, March 7, 2011: When we raise our kids, we focus on the traits measured by grades and SAT scores. But when it comes to the most important things like character and how to build relationships, we often have nothing to say. Many of our public policies are proposed by experts who are comfortable only with correlations that can be measured, appropriated and quantified, and ignore everything else.

Dave Eggers and Nínive Clements Calegari: The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries, April 30, 2011: When we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!”

National Center for Education Statistics/ US Department of Education: A Snapshot of Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 2009–10: This first look report presents selected findings from a congressionally mandated study on arts education in public K–12 schools.

National Arts Policy Roundtable 2010 Final report: The Role of the Arts in Educating America for Great Leadership and Economic Strength

Mike Boehm: President’s Committee tackles arts education, Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2011: Hoping to reverse a decades-long decline in arts education in American elementary and secondary schools, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities has issued a report intended to help advocates press for more money, better teaching approaches and a fresh mind-set that doesn’t treat arts learning as a frill or an afterthought, readily cut when school budgets grow tight. The report is posted at

Gigi Generaux: Part-timing at the degree mill: The crisis in part-time university instruction is even more pressing at for-profit institutions, where the schools’ very business model and commuter design tends to generate a largely adjunct system. These schools often make no secret of the fact that they are delivering education driven by the bottom line, where students are viewed not so much as learners of knowledge but as consumers purchasing a product for a steep fee.

Gigi Generaux: Abject professors: With low pay and even lower collegiate expectations, part-time instructors face a full-time problem

Susan Kellam: The Arts Are Basic to Achievement: An Interview with Shirley Brice Heath, February 5, 1999, Connect for Kids (now SparkAction):…Seven years into the ten-year study, she discovered that the children engaged in arts activities were looking, in her words, “very different.”… Her work revealed that the kids in the arts-based organizations exhibited an intensity of certain characteristics, including motivation, persistence, critical analysis, and planning.

Daniel Grant: The Business of Teaching Art, Wall Street Journal Arts & Entertainment, May 19, 2011: Art, we are told again and again, is a business. But teaching art is also a business. For a growing number of artists, professional training is taking place at for-profit art schools, rather than at nonprofit colleges, and the number of these schools has been increasing to meet the demand.

Valerie Strauss: Our cutthroat curriculum 05/06/2011: If we do not heed Ravitch’s warning, a generation of children who do not value empathy will soon become our leaders – CEOs, politicians, administrators, teachers, neighbors, voters – who will make cold-hearted decisions about the direction of our community, our nation, and our way of life. In essence, by ignoring public education’s responsibility to not just produce consumers and workers, but also empathic, well-socialized citizens, the United States is endangering 21st century democracy.

Erik Robelen: Coalition Aims to revise Voluntary National Arts Standards, June 9 2011, : “All students learn using some combination of the arts, numeracy, and literacy,” Jonathan Katz, the chief executive officer of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, said in the press release. “The resource for learning that this group, representing teachers of the arts and arts education policymakers, is in a position to provide is tremendously important.”

Malcolm Harris: Bad Education, 25 April 2011: What kind of incentives motivate lenders to continue awarding six-figure sums to teenagers facing both the worst youth unemployment rate in decades and an increasingly competitive global workforce?

Paul Chan: The Unthinkable Community

Karen Archey: The Road to Somewhere (Mildred’s Lane)

Diane Ravitch: The Myth of Charter Schools

Arts Education Makes a Difference in Missouri Schools

Arts Education Makes a Difference in Missouri Schools: MO Alliance for the Arts

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses: Academically Adrift

Wayne Morris: Creativity: Its Place in Education

Charlie Mylie teaching at Berkley Child and Family Development Center at UMKC

Charlie Mylie teaching at Berkley Child and Family Development Center at UMKC

Turning Students into Block Heads: Block style education

Virgilyn Driscoll: Creativity_Key_to_Successful_Workforcel

Randi Korn & Associates for the Guggenheim Museum: Educational Research: The Art of Problem Solving

Critical Art Ensemble is a collaborative organization of artists that engages in public dialogue and education. Free Range Grain was a live, performative action that used basic molecular biology techniques to test for genetically modified food in the global food trade. CAE constructed a portable, public lab to test foods for common genetic modifications. Members of the public brought us foods that they found suspect for whatever reason, and we tested them over a 72-hour period to see if their suspicions were justified.

Kathleen Desmond: Actively Teaching (Artists) Aesthetics

Matt Richtel: digital classrooms

Keith Brown, Jim Duignan, Jerome Hausman, Nicholas Hostert & John Ploof: The Condition of Art Education

Mike Wolf: Can Experimental Cultural Centers Replace MFA Programs?

Julia Cole, Deirdre Daw, Leigh Rosser: Graham Hill Elementary in Seattle WA. Every child in the school participated in making outdoor installations of artwork about the salmon life cycle.

Voice For Liberty in Wichita: Kansas School Reform issues

Free Thinking Education:  Is the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles the ideal art school?

The spurse art collaborative working with KCAI students on work connected to their Deep Time + Rapid Time exhibition.

Rete Nazionale Ricercatori Precari (Italy): Globalisation, academic flexibility and the right to research

Putting a Price on Professors: Putting a Price on Professors

Sean Silverthorne: Take Advantage of America’s Diminishing Creativity

Art Farm provides hands on experience for De La Salle High Schools health and ecology curriculum as well as art classes. Produce from the garden will be used in the school’s kitchen and served as part of meals.

Bert Stabler: Get Off theAssembly Line: “Pedagogical Factory” ponders more intimate, creative approaches to education

Mark Morford: American kids, dumber than dirt/Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history

Diane Ravitch: Why America’s Teachers Are Enraged

Newsweek: The Creativity Crisis

Rebelutionary: The Inaugural FedEx Day

Lisa Morehouse: Grace Living Center

Harvard University: Project Zero Current Work

The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Making of Corporate U

John m. Eger: Science teachers love art

The First World Conference on Arts Education, UNESCO, Lisbon, 2006: Road Map For Arts Education

The Second World Conference on Arts Education, UNESCO, Seoul, 28 May 2010: Arts for Society, Education for Creativity

Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein: Keynote speech at UNESCO Second World Conference on Arts Education: ARTS AT THE CENTER

Kathi R. Levin and Lynn Waldorf: An examination of Los Angeles County’s Arts for All 2009-10 Leadership Fellows Program: Engaging Senior Leadership to Advance Arts in Schools

Brie Blakeman produced this collaborative performance in which Kansas City children learned about respect for the environment through dance and music.

Nadia Pflaum: A promising magnet school gets burned by right-sizing, Apr 12 2011:

Joe Robertson: Expeditionary learning is a new journey into education

Sam Dillon: US is urged to raise teacher status, March 16, 2011:


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