Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let President Obama know the importance of the arts in education

My good friend, Lesley University professor and movement educator Doug Victor sent me this letter after we had traded numerous emails regarding integrating the arts in education. In it he asks everyone who is so moved to contact President Obama and remind him of the importance of the arts in education. So, I'm posting it here in hopes that some of you who read it will feel compelled to contact the President.

Hi, Everyone,

Hope this finds you all well and inspired in your lives and your teaching. I am writing to ask you to consider giving our newly inaugurated President some feedback about his plan for Educational Reform.

I know how committed you all are to teaching creatively through the arts so I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to have your voice be heard in concert with other past Creative Arts and Learning Lesley students from around the country with whom I have had the joy to get to know.

First make sure you watch the 2 following powerful and thought-provoking videos, if you have not already:

1) Sir Ken Robinson talks inspiringly about creativity being as important to teach as literacy...
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

An article to go along with this video: http://www.edutopia.org/node/2829

I also recommend his website at http://www.sirkenrobinson.com/; and

2) A moving song by Tom Chapin It's Not on the Test re: No Child Left Behind.... http://www.notonthetest.com/

The credits and text for the song are in attachment.

You may wish to to include the links to these videos for President Obama to view along with your personalized message.

Of course send a message if you are inspired to do so and not if you are not but as you can see below the new President is asking for your feedback.

President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in the history of the United States.

In the President's own words, "We face many challenges. But we face them as one nation.
And we have seen, time and time again, that there are no limits to what we can accomplish when we stand together. Our journey is just beginning. Thank you for all you do."

President Barack Obama

These are the Obama administration's goals:

Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama and Biden will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. They will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

I did not see any mention of the Arts in the President's plans. For me, this is a missing piece. You might consider mentioning the importance of the Arts in your comments and give some of your own terrific direct experience testimony.

You can find this and other information about Educational reform and the government in general on the following link: http://www.pic2009.org/whitehouse

Other White House Contact Information FYI:
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

TTY/TDD
Comments: 202-456-6213
Visitors Office: 202-456-2121

Website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

With terrific memories of our time together and now tasking for a better world.

My moving best to you all as ever.

Doug Victor

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