This story was in the New York Times earlier this week:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday that the city’s Department of Education will require all schools to maintain arts programs, and that principals will be rated in their annual reviews on how well they run those programs. The announcement came just months after the department infuriated arts groups by eliminating a multimillion-dollar program to finance arts education. Under a new set of city standards, the arts curriculums will be judged for comprehensiveness, and potential pay bonuses for principals could be affected.
“An excellent arts education is essential,” the mayor said at a news conference at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan.Last winter, the city schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, told several arts advocates that the department was planning to give principals discretion over $67.5 million that had previously been budgeted specifically for Project Arts, which financed arts education. The project, developed in the Giuliani administration, was intended to rebuild arts programs that were obliterated during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.
Read the complete story here.
Requiring arts programs and making administrators accountable for the quality of their arts programs is certainly a positive thing for the schools of New York City. As most people know, the arts can be first of the chopping block when school budgets are in crisis, and it is good to see the vast public school program in New York City make this a priority.
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