The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet welcomes a guest post from educator David C. Levy, a former curator of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. who now serves as principal in Bach to Rock music schools. Levy weighs in with his opinion of the arts in school, blaming the descent of arts education on the lack of training that art teachers receive.
I would argue, however, that there is another reason why the arts, and visual arts in particular, are an endangered species in American K-12 education.
It has been my observation that primary and secondary school art teachers rank very low on the continuum of professional respect among their peers.
And I would posit as a significant cause that they have generally not achieved a sufficient level of skill in their discipline to deserve that respect. For example, while English teachers may not be able to write The Great American Novel, the chances are pretty good that they can compose a competent essay. But many art teachers can barely draw!
Anyone care to disagree?
Update, 10/14: Nancy Flanagan does. - AR.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.