Vast Majority of Los Angeles School Arts Programs Lacking

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki — November 06, 2015 1 min read
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Less than 1 percent of Los Angeles schools earned an A on a scorecard created by the Los Angeles Times to evaluate that school district’s arts education programs.

The newspaper ranked schools on factors such as teacher availability, numbers of arts courses, and teachers’ training. Just 35 of the district’s 700 schools earned top marks.

The Los Angeles district is technically required by state law to offer instruction in arts, drama, music, and dance in every grade, but, like many districts in the state, is far from meeting that requirement.

Elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods have lost the most arts programming in recent years, according to the Times’ analysis, despite the district’s stated focus on equity. Earlier this year, the Times reported that 100 elementary schools offer no arts programming at all.

In a follow-up story, the Times describes the partnerships that have formed between local nonprofits and schools. While such partnerships often make news, the Times series is a reminder that nonprofits are often filling in holes rather than supplementing programs that were once considered standard.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.