Beep Wants More Arts Ed

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Students at Ron Brown Academy practiced in 2013 for a performance of

Photo by: Anthony Lanzilote

Students at Ron Brown Academy practiced in 2013 for a performance of “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

Both national and state standards mandate that art be a core academic subject for students across our nation. Yet, an analysis by the Manhattan Borough President Office’s of the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) Annual Arts Education Survey shows that while some New York City schools have sufficient programs, others display much room for improvement.

Manhattan BP Gale Brewer's report, called “ArtsForward,” aims to improve methods for assessing school compliance and ensure that schools have equal access to the resources needed to enhance arts education.

Unveiling the report on Monday, Brewer also announced $20,000 in grants to help fund schools’ arts partnerships and a series of arts mixers to connect the public schools to the city’s top museums and institutions.

The report gives ideas on how to integrate arts into the everyday classroom.

The first step, the report found, is to sufficiently survey the adequacy of arts education in the city. The borough president's office contacted schools to check results from the DOE's arts survey and found that 21 percent of elementary schools, 39 percent of middle schools and 23 percent of high schools had to have their information corrected.

One of the survey’s biggest problems is the way it is compartmentalized, causing arts such as music and dance to be too divided from each other, the report found. The report argues that designing a new survey to better show the quality of the schools’ art programs is more reliable than just showing how it meets the state requirements.

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