Saturday, October 15, 2011
Boston Academy Arts v. CPS Arts
I understand that Lois and her colleagues were using schools/teachers in the Boston area to generate optimal results with relationship the SHOM-the schools that took arts "seriously" as noted on page 9-although I wonder how the study will develop while in CPS schools? Each school has a different vision and mission for education in general as well as arts education. Visual arts (unfortunately) are often not a priority in the curriculum and many art teachers and departments have to fight to stay alive within a testing culture while budgets are being cut extensively. It is hard at times to read about the Boston schools because these are optimal art education environments and the number of CPS (secondary) schools that mirror these environments are few and far between. Within our overall school and department program I am often frustrated because we cannot provide the same types of "authentic" art experiences that the Boston schools or some of our CPS magnet Visual and/or Fine Arts counterparts can. We do not have the physical studio spaces nor do we have the space in our school's over all program. For example we are running 21 sections of Art I this year (an average of 650 students), concurrently we have four art elective course options for our students (approximately 124 students) and we currently have 13 advanced AP Art and IB Art Portfolio students split with other courses. Our students are consistently recognized locally and earn scholarships for art to many schools, etc. but there are some experiences that we simply cannot provide due to the nature and size of our program within the context of the larger school environment. I realize that the SHOM are about more than just physical space, but this is a major component that we struggle with at LPHS.