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Partnership Created To Promote K-12 Arts Education

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Washington

The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies will oversee a partnership formed to promote arts education in the nation's K-12 schools.

The Goals 2000 Arts Education Partnership will be based here at the CCSSO's headquarters.

The partnership, founded a little over a year ago, is made up of 100 education and arts organizations, foundations, businesses, and government agencies that want to make sure the arts are not left out when districts and states craft reform plans under the federal Goals 2000 program. Among others, members include the National School Boards Association, the Harlem School for the Arts, the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, and the Coca-Cola Foundation.

"The ultimate goal is to ensure that each child in this country has the opportunity to find [his] own particular and unique voice for expression," said Frank S. Philip, who coordinates assessment and student standards in arts education for the state chiefs' council. "We think the arts should be a very important part of the core curriculum ... and hope to accomplish that by helping states and local districts use [Goals 2000] as a guide and include the arts in their plans for school reform."

Proposed Cuts

The Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts announced the partnership's leaders last month at a news conference here. Representatives of several arts and education groups at the event expressed concern about the impact of proposed cuts in the endowment's budget, and they suggested that private giving also may fall off if the cuts are interpreted as a sign that the arts are not a national priority.

The arts endowment is facing a cut of 32 percent to 40 percent in its fiscal 1996 budget, with the final figure still to be determined as Congress finishes work on spending bills.

Continued federal support sends a message that teaching the arts is important as school districts and states are drafting their own budgets, said Jonathan Katz, the chief executive officer of the state arts group. "The leveraging power of the federal leadership is very well-documented in the education field," he said.

The news conference also served to update the progress of the Goals 2000 Arts Education Leadership Fund, a public-private partnership formed late last year. The arts endowment and the state arts agencies' group created the fund as a vehicle for private support for arts-education reform at the local and state levels. (See Education Week, Jan. 18, 1995.)

The fund, launched with an initial challenge grant of $200,000 from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation in Hartford, Conn., has received more than $750,000. It will award grants of $10,000 to $35,000 to states to support arts-education initiatives such as public-awareness campaigns and teacher training institutes.

Of the 31 states that have applied for funding, 17 have been approved.

Research on Role of Arts In Education Is Summarized

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University have released a new compilation of research on the role of arts in education.

It summarizes 49 reports, articles, and dissertations, selected from 500 documents reviewed by the national endowment. It includes large-scale studies of programs involving more than one arts discipline, targeted studies that address a specific discipline or research question, other research compilations, public-opinion studies, and studies of the status of arts education and its economic impact.

Copies of "Schools, Communities, and the Arts: A Research Compendium," are free from the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Box 874405, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. 85287-4405; (602) 965-4525; e-mail: idnxw@asuzm.inre.asu.edu.

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