Originally posted on EdNewsColorado, July 19th, 2012. Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org
Read here. Written by Jason Callegari.
Jason Callegari, A+ Denver’s policy director, argues for a renewed focus on arts education and outlines a task force created by the advocacy group to bolster the arts in Denver schools.
A+ Denver recently created a task force to discuss the current state of arts integration both geographically and across the K-12 spectrum in Denver Public Schools.Arts-related jobs are the fifth largest sector of employment in Denver alone and there are numerous studies, books and anecdotes from CEOs and leaders noting the need for right-brained, creative and innovative thinkers in our workforce right now. We also know that Colorado struggles to overcome the “Colorado paradox” and continues to import human capital.
At some point, we won’t be able to rely upon our mountains to lure talent to Colorado and we need to improve our education to better engage and prepare students.
I was encouraged during my attendance of recent community meetings studying a DPS tax increase that these issues were discussed and that both the committee studying the increase and DPS are committed to more and high quality arts education in the district. While the school board has not decided whether to ask voters for a tax increase, there is a substantial amount of money for the arts included in the tax increase proposal and that vote will be occurring soon.
At the same time that I was attending some of these meetings, A+ Denver undertook an arts-focused data gathering effort, mostly qualitative, through interviews and surveys of district schools. What we ended up with are a draft report and some hypotheses that we have taken to our task force. The Quality Arts Task Force includes Bill Kohut, principal of the Denver School of the Arts; Think 360 Arts Managing Director Jane Hansberry; former Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien; George Sparks, CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science; and others.
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