View Full Version : CPS Arts Plan

09-30-2012, 05:39 PM
Has anyone been attending the CPS Arts Plan public forums? I was at only one, and the plan, such that it is, has some real flaws. There is a lot of good to it, but the flaws could undercut much of what we value about the arts at the schools fortunate enough to have a strong program.

I have copies of the draft plan as PDF files at: http://www.skepticismiscertain.org/draft-cps-arts-plan/

09-30-2012, 06:31 PM
What flaws do you see?

09-30-2012, 07:01 PM
What flaws do you see?

One problem is the aim of aligning the arts curriculum to the Common Core State Standards for Math and Literary. But it should be the other way around. The curriculum for math and literacy should be aligning with the arts curriculum. The CCSS is devoid of any fine arts or performing arts content. Should perspective in drawing wait until sophomore year because that's when the CCSS begins geometry? That would be absurd.

Also, CPS wants a quantitative "assessment system" for the arts. We'll end up with an ISAT-ized arts classes. We don't expect most students studying music to be musicians, but we do want them to understand how music conveys meaning and how it is created. Likewise with portraiture, landscape, abstract painting and sculpture. But few of these arts lend themselves well to multiple-choice tests.

The target ratios for art teachers in the school are too large. I did the math, an art teacher for 450 students cannot teach 120 minutes a week to that many students without class sizes well over 30.

There is much discussion of "college ready" achievement in CPS, but, as someone who has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Johns Hopkins, University of Iowa, Iowa State, Loyola, and DePaul, I can tell you that the term is invoked in the most nonsensical ways. "College ready" for the arts would mean the ability to sight-read scores in music; it would mean being able to distinguish abstract expressionism from Dada. I don't think CPS has that in mind.