This is what we call news these days? City Schools Fail to Comply with State Rule on Arts Classes, NY Times.
The state requires that elementary school students receive education in dance, music, theater and visual arts every year. The survey showed that fewer than 30 percent of middle schools met the requirement of providing two half-unit art classes between seventh and eighth grades.
Despite the requirements, the state does not demand that the City Education Department report on arts instruction. But city officials emphasized that they would ask more schools to meet those expectations.
They’ll ask for arts education, but they’ll punish for reading and math failure, and they’ll cut school budgets mid-year. Where the heck do they think the money is going to come from for art supplies and teaching? “Um, hey there principals, do ya think you could squeeze in some dance around your remedial math courses? I’m sure one of your math teachers knows some ballet or step or something…”
And then there’s this, from an article on the $125,000 charter school (TEP):
Yet the model is raising questions. Will two social workers be enough? Will even the most skillful teachers be able to handle classes of 30, several students more than the city average?
Now, I get the larger point (I’m not one for ignoring context), which is that the model might lean too far in favor of good teachers and neglect some other pieces of the reform puzzle, like small class size. But – BUT – let’s not pretend that teachers in New York City are working with classes of 22… as a first year teacher, I had five classes of 30-32 kids. Classes are a bit smaller in my current school, but still over 25 and creeping upwards every year for financial reasons. So when evaluating this charter’s model, I think it’s only fair to note that for most NYC teachers, this wouldn’t represent a significant increase in class size, for many, it wouldn’t be an increase at all. But the pay? That would be double.