Posts Tagged ‘Arne Duncan’


Welcome Back!

August 25, 2015

2015-16 School year

Summer 2015 2nd group

MALI Summer Institute, August 3-5, 2015, USM, Portland

It’s back to school time and the air is changing. Whether you are in full swing with teaching or in your classroom preparing for students or perhaps waiting at home for the first day with “kids”, I know that the school year is upon you in some form.

I can sense that it is going to be a great year for visual and performing arts education in Maine! The Maine Arts Commission has been busy all summer supporting the work of Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education. Read below just a few of the ways in which MAC is doing just that:

  • It’s official, on August 3, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative became the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative during the opening at the summer institute. Read about the shift at
  • In addition to the name change MALI sent a representative team to the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C., July 22-24 sponsored by the US DOE and the National Board. The experience launched us into phase 5 in an amazing way. We found ourselves at the same table with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Read about it at
  • On August 3-5 the MALI summer institute took place at USM, Portland campus. It was a fabulous learning opportunity where 12 new Teacher Leaders created an action plan that is turning into a workshop to be presented during the 2015-16 school year across Maine. This brings the total of Teacher Leaders to 73! You can read about the Teacher Leader work at
  • The veteran Teacher Leaders used a Logic Model to guide their work. Starting with a “problem” they created a plan that they will take action on during the next several months. Pretty amazing work!
  • The biennial fall arts ed conference is happening on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Arts Education: The Measure of Success. Early bird registration and detailed information is at
  • Fourteen Teaching Artists participated in one day of the MALI summer institute – what a treat to have so many in one location. Read about their participation at
  • The Teaching Artist roster expanded this summer to a total of 40. You can read about the program and check out the roster at Please consider contracting with one (or more) of these artists for your students during this school year. Another call for the roster will go out in the near future. Watch this blog and arts ed list-serv for the invitation.
  • The statewide visual and performing arts education census will be launched this fall and plans are underway to collect data from all 100% of Maine schools. Watch for more information because we will need everyone’s help to make this happen!
  • MALI had an incredible Critical Friend day with 45 educators attending including PK-higher ed teachers and administrators. Read about it at

As you begin a new school year know that the MAC and MALI are here to assist you on your educational journey. More information on all of the MAC education programs can be found at


Teach to Lead

July 25, 2015

What an experience

Catherine Ring, Jeff Beaudry, Theresa Cerceo, Kate Smith and I just returned from Washington, D.C. where we attended the Teach to Lead Summit sponsored by the US Department of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The team represented the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and I was so proud of all the teams accomplishments.

balconyWe participated in high quality professional development using the Logic Model which helped us to focus on our project from beginning to end. The Logic Model is a framework to help create a plan. The reason for using the Logic Model is it really helps to increase the effectiveness of implementing a project. Our purpose in going was to determine the future for MAAI so the summit was a great opportunity. We started with clearly stating the Problem (as it is called in the Logic Model):

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) was created to address the inconsistency and gaps in access to quality professional development for arts educators. After five years in operation, MAAI is looking to sustain the successful work it has begun, and to address the emerging needs of arts educators in our state.

Jeff and Kate

Jeff and Kate

The next step included creating the goals which we decided would have a strong focus on Teacher Leadership. For 4 years now MAAI has focused on leadership by inviting visual and performing arts teachers to be Teacher Leaders (75 to date). This segment of the D.C. work helped us to dig deep on the topic of teacher leadership. It was very useful to take a close look and realize how much the focus on teacher leadership has impacted the successes of MAAI. To hear the clarity around teachers as leaders repeated over and over during the summit was validating and gave me a sense of pride in Maine arts educators.

Catherine and Theresa

Catherine and Theresa

From there we moved on to identifying the inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. From this step it was fairly simple to fill in the last two segments: the rationale and the student impact. Below you see a blank template that we used to get started.

Logic Model template

Logic Model template

MAAI was selected to attend as one of 27 teams from 125 proposals. MAAI was the only team with a statewide project represented. Also participating were 85 critical friends. Jacob Bruno who is employed by Corwin and lives in Portland, Oregon was assigned to the MAAI team and he was a great match for us. And, we were glad that Rob Westerberg could join us electronically a couple of times during the Summit.


The Logic Model template MEGA size

Once we got the bulk of the work on paper we shared with a few other groups to get and give feedback from a fresh set of eyes. We also had some professional learning around developing our message. Its one thing to come up with a good project but also important to be able to communicate about it. After more tweaking every team displayed their plan and we had time to provide feedback to each team.


The highlight of the summit was definitely having the opportunity to have the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, visit our table (one of 4 selected) to learn about the work of MAAI.


We were so grateful to be participants in the Teach to Lead Summit. I was honored to be part of a fantastic team representing Maine and MAAI. If you are interested in attending with a project that you are considering the next one will be held in Tacoma, Washington on September 26-27 with a deadline for applications August 7. For more information including the application please go to

Flying over the nations capital.

Flying over the nation’s capital

Flying into Portland, home again.

Flying into Portland, home again.



Arts Education Month: March

March 1, 2013

Happy March!

As I mentioned in a post on February 11, 2013 March is a great time to promote what you do so well – teach ARTS EDUCATION. Sometimes others need to be reminded or actually taught about why the Arts are essential to a complete education for all students.

And, this is a good time for me to site this post prepared by the Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s office at the USDOE. You can find the information by clicking here. Mr. Duncan’s office had conducted a survey on arts education. It is the first survey that really provided a comparison since the first survey of this type was done during the 1999-2000 school year.

Secretary Duncan highlighted some of the findings that included:

I start from a simple presumption that I think most parents and teachers share. And that is that all students—100 percent—should have access to arts instruction. All children should have arts-rich schools.

Judged against that widely-shared standard, I think it is clear that our public schools have a long way to go before they are providing a rich and rigorous arts education to all students.

For a host of reasons, high-quality arts education is absolutely critical to providing all students with a world-class education.

The study of the arts can significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college.

Arts education is also essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a knowledge-based, global economy.

And the arts are valuable for their own sake. They empower students to create and appreciate aesthetic works. Creating by doing is a uniquely powerful way to learn.

I want to add that last, but not least, the arts are also fun. They give students a reason to look forward to coming to school.

Here are some resources that you might find useful during this exciting Arts education month:



US Department of Education

April 6, 2012

New study: Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

US Department of Education Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

On April 2, the U.S. Department of Education released a study entitled Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10. This study was previously published in 2002, prior to implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Arts education advocates are very pleased to finally see an update, even if a full decade later.

The report offers mixed results in support of arts education. According to the report, music and visual art are widely available in schools in some form in schools nationwide; however, dance and theater are far less available. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated, “despite the importance of providing equal educational opportunities in the arts, today’s report shows we are falling well short of that goal.”

Despite being designated a “core academic subject” in NCLB and being included in mandated elementary school curriculum in 44 states, this survey demonstrates that access to arts education remains elusive to a tremendous number of students across the nation.

From the Department’s announcement of the study we learned that:

  • 1.3 million of our nation’s public elementary school students receive no specific instruction in music, and nearly 4 million students receive no specific instruction in the visual arts.
  • 800,000 public secondary school students do not receive music, and 11 percent of secondary schools do not provide the visual arts.
  • Only 3 percent of elementary schools offer any specific dance instruction and only 4 percent offer any specific theater instruction. In secondary schools, the numbers improve somewhat as 12 percent offer dance and 45 percent offer theater.

Finally, this report found that the nation’s poorest students, the ones who could benefit the most from arts education, are receiving it the least.  A decade ago, the data showed that 100 percent of high poverty schools offered music instruction, but currently, only 80 percent offer music instruction. The percentage offering visual arts, dance, and theater is even lower.

In his remarks, Secretary Duncan called the disparity between high-poverty and low-poverty schools “deeply disturbing” and “absolutely an equity issue and a civil rights issue.”

For further details on this federal study, read this post on ARTSblog, “Ten Years Later: A Puzzling Picture of Arts Education in America.”

This information was provided by the Americans for the Arts.


Arne Duncan Speaks on the Arts

November 9, 2011

This is taken from the Blog post called The Arts and Humanities in a Well-Rounded Education

The Arts and Humanities in a Well-Rounded Education
Posted on October 17, 2011 by Arne Duncan
In proclaiming October as National Arts and Humanities Month, President Obama reminds us that the arts and humanities, embodied in Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We Live With” which hangs just outside of the Oval Office, “often challenge us to consider new perspectives and to rethink how we see the world.”

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

The study of history and civics provides a sense of time beyond the here and now.  The study of geography and culture helps build a sense of space and place. The study of drama, dance, music, and the visual arts helps students explore realities that cannot be summarized simply or even expressed in words or numbers.

A well-rounded curriculum that embraces the arts and humanities is not a luxury but a necessity in the information age. Young people need to be able to decipher complex digital communications; to appreciate and demand good design in their lives, communities,  and the marketplace; to not be fooled by superficial aesthetics that appeal to the senses while masking half-truths or worse;  and to turn the tables on technology by becoming skilled creators and not merely consumers of information.

For all these reasons, I urge all America’s school leaders – superintendents, principals, and school boards – to embrace a well-rounded education for all students. Our schools need to sustain arts and humanities programs where they are robust, and strengthen them where they are not. As President Obama notes, a well-rounded education will give students opportunities to be “the creative thinkers of tomorrow.”

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