To the Editor:
I find it ironic that Sandra Ruppert, the executive director of the Arts Education Partnership, or AEP, says she “wasn’t surprised” by recent cuts in arts education, especially for students of color, and is able to perceive the obvious with regard to what has become a precipitous decline (“Arts Education for Minority Children Drops,” March 9, 2011).
Ironic, because hers is a tacit admission that the AEP, which has for decades lobbied mightily to influence policymakers to support the arts in public education, presided over their wholesale disembowelment in schools throughout the country, even in affluent districts.
The $40 million proposed reduction in the arts education budget of the U.S. Department of Education is further evidence that this organization has done a poor to terrible job of advocacy. Perhaps it is time to attract new blood and fresh voices into what has devolved into the echo chamber of only like-minded individuals who share an ineffective mind-set on how to address what has, it is equally obvious, become a crisis.
The writer is the director of education for the Washington National Opera, in Washington, D.C.
A version of this article appeared in the April 06, 2011 edition of Education Week as ‘Ineffective Mind-Set’ Seen in Arts Advocacy