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FW: Act Now to Protect the Arts Education Standards

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From: Kevan Nitzberg (knitzber_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri May 09 2003 - 04:25:54 PDT


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From: "Kathleen Maloney" <kathleen@allarts4allkids.org>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 13:43:46 -0500
To: "MAAE" <info@allarts4allkids.org>
Subject: Act Now to Protect the Arts Education Standards

Arts Learning Alert
Political Update
Senate Rejects House/Governor Standards Repeal Proposal: 31:35 Party
Line Vote
Commissioner Yecke Meets with Arts Education Advocates: Does Not View
Arts as "Core"
Conference Activity on Education Policy Begins: House Conferees Key to
Arts Education Issue

ACTION!
Contact the House and the Administration
Forward this Message to Your Peers and Friends
To Turn This Move Towards Minimal Standards Around Your Advocacy is
Needed

It is politically necessary for many lawmakers to vote for repeal of
the Profile of Learning. Some even ran for office on that platform.
The issue for the arts education community is what replaces it. The
Senate proposal, which is now part of the omnibus E-12 education policy
bill SF1528 repeals the Profile of Learning and provides for the arts
in replacement standards. HF2, which is now part of the House omnibus
education policy and appropriation bill HF1404, does not. SF1528 will
put in place standards that have been worked on by best practice arts
educators over an extended time. HF1404 does not.

The competing proposals are now heading towards a conference committee.
The Senate can be expected to try to uphold their proposal including
the arts. The Republican House conferees all voted for omnibus HF1404.
  The DFL House conferee, a teacher from Dilworth on the NW edge of the
state near Moorhead, did not. House conferees are:
 Representative Alice Seagren (41B-Republican) 477 State Office
Building, St. Paul MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-7803
 Representative Barb Sykora (33B-Republican) 403 State Office Building,
St. Paul MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-4315
 Representative Tony Kielkucki (18A-Republican) 367 State Office
Building, St. Paul MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-1534
 Representative Mark Buesgens (35B-Republican) 445 State Office
Building, St. Paul MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-5185
 Representative Paul Marquart (9B-DFL) 311 State Office Building, St.
Paul MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-6829

Call or write now to make your case for the arts in education. Use
these talking points if you wish, but be sure to personalize your
message. Tell who you are, what your interest is in arts standards,
and include complete contact information for yourself.

The position of the Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education is that
the arts should remain part of our statewide standards. The arts
should remain in just as prominent a position as they are now in the
compromise bill on the repeal of the Profile of Learning. This is why:

 The arts are core in Minnesota, and have been since statewide
standards were first implemented in 1999
 The arts are defined as core in the No Child Left Behind act also (see
See Title IX, Part A, Section 9101 (1)(D)(11), Definitions.)
 The new standards in the Senate bill are flexible for local districts
and will not negatively impact good arts programs
 The infrastructure exists to help teachers locally implement and
assess the new arts standards as part of the statewide accountability
system--it won't cost more money

The same message can be delivered to the Governor and Commissioner of
Education.
 Governor Tim Pawlenty, Room 130, State Capitol, St. Paul MN 55155
Phone: 651/296-3391
 Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke, Minnesota Department of Education,
1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113 Phone: 651/582-8200
 
Background
The Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education has been active in every
step of the drafting and implementation of the standards. It has been
a controversial stance to take because the strain on the education
system of a reform of this size was painful for many teachers, students
and parents. In the arts area, some districts imposed the standards on
top of existing curriculum causing redundancy or inefficiencies; some
embedded the standards but only in one place so that High School
students had few choices to meet their graduation requirements; some
schools interpreted the arts standards as the maximum rather than the
minimum of arts offerings and extracurricular or intense, discipline
specific courses were lost. Staffing and staff development was an
issue for those districts that did not have wide arts programs.
However, the Alliance continued to support the rule as a whole because
the position for the arts was advantageous.
> In the early grades, schools were required to expand their arts
> offerings to at least three disciplines.
> The student performance assessments caused refocusing on individual
> student achievement and reinforced the idea that every child can ³do
> the arts² not just a talented few.
> The ³create and perform² standards caused a shift in many programs:
> where once the teacher made all the creative choices, now the students
> themselves were the artists.
> The arts are on par with other subject areas for the first time in
> statewide policy.
>
Stay Connected--Join!
  The Alliance is supported by individual and organizational
memberships. These fees make it possible for us to work in many ways on
the state and local levels. If you are not a member, or are not sure if
your membership is current, please contact kathleen@allarts4allkids.org
now. We work hard to connect you to the community of leaders in arts
education and keep you informed. We need your support now more than
ever!

The Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education does not support or oppose
any political candidate or party. These materials are made available to
the public, consistent with our responsibility to educate and inform
the public.

Kathleen Maloney
Executive Director
Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education
2233 University Ave. W. #233
St. Paul, MN 55114
651/917-2323

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