(New York, NY)- Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today applauded the Panel for Education Policy's Arts Education Advisory Committee for developing a blueprint consisting of goals and recommendations to enhance arts education in New York City schools, and encouraged the City to carry out its implementation.
In 2009 Senator Serrano sponsored legislation (S6106), which passed the Senate, to create an advisory committee to advise the Chancellor on arts education and to work to improve compliance with State arts education requirements. Despite the fact that the legislation did not pass the Assembly, in March, 2010, under the leadership of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the City's Arts Education Advisory Committee was created.
A Blueprint for Art Education: 2011-2014 details a three-year plan, which includes ways to increase parental involvement and, most notably, ensuring that New York City Schools are meeting the guidelines set forth by the New York State Education Department so that New York City’s students have access to a comprehensive arts curriculum.
"Our schools need diverse, civic engagement to improve our children's academic achievement through the arts," said Senator Serrano, who is the Ranking Member in the Senate Committee overseeing Cultural Affairs. "There are regulations on the books requiring arts education in our classrooms, but compliance has been dangerously low." Serrano has also worked closely with The Center for Arts Education, whose Staying in School report, shows that the schools with the highest drop-out rates are those with the least arts education in their classrooms.
"These compliance statistics are particularly alarming in communities with high concentrations of low income families," continued the Senator. "I commend the Arts Advisory Committee, Chancellor Walcott and Mayor Bloomberg for their leadership and dedication to arts education, and encourage them to implement these concrete recommendations that will help schools give our children the arts education they deserve. Every child is entitled to a well rounded education— regardless of economic circumstances."