Saturday, December 7, 2013

Indiana Coalition for the Arts Advocacy Day 2014 is January 27th!

If you are interested in attending Indiana Coalition for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Day event at the Indiana State Capitol, I can guarantee you an interesting day speaking with legislators and visiting with a cadre of arts advocates! See you in the Rotunda at 200 West Washington Street! If you are interested in attending and would like to contact me for more info you can reach me here:
Public Education Advocates voice their concerns inside the Indiana State Capitol last February, 20130

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why Are Public Schools Cash Strapped?

Why are many Indiana school corporations operating on their 2006 budget numbers?? Here's why:

Those of us who are familiar with the transformative power of fine arts experience understand there is a crisis in education today. Funding and viability of school fine arts programs go hand in hand. There is such a thing as quality and then there are qualities of quality. 

A cash strapped public school corporation who cuts their professional art teachers and re-institutes a program with a non-certified, non-credentialed adult who administrates the fine arts program is not a substitute for professional with bonafide experience as fine arts educator.

  "John F. Kennedy said: *A child miseducated is a child lost.
*Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.
*For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Should 1.3 Million Indiana Voters Be Concerned?

If Superintendent Ritz is concerned about her office, should the voters who elected her be concerned too?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Want To Talk About Advocacy? I'll Be Here.... the AEAI State Conference, October 18-20, at the Marriott East in Indianapolis.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Money For New Bureaucracy But None For Schools? Media Blitz Today

Why is Governor Mike Pence spending 5 million dollars on Executive Order 13-21? Don't we already have a chief education officer elected by 1.3 million Hoosier Voters to attend to matters related to public education? For the first time in Indiana History, the Indiana State Board of Education will now be independent of the IDOE and will answer to...Governor Pence. What is Executive Order 13-21 really all about? This new agency is purely political with huge ramifications to hurt public education in Indiana.

Please consider joining me in a blitz to inform the media that this is not how democracy works. 


Gov. Pence: Did Supt. Ritz, Voters and General Assembly discuss new ed agency?

Indy Star

Times of Northwest Indiana

South Bend Tribune

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stop This Madness!

The billions of dollars spent on politicians obsession with high stakes standardized testing is better spent on augmenting children's authentic learning experiences with extended fine arts learning, exploration into hands on science learning, smaller class sizes and improving the lives of 16 million children living under the poverty threshold in the World's richest country! Stop this madness!!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Standards On The Way But Really, What's The Status Of Art Education Programs In The U.S.?

We all know that new National Fine Arts Standards have been written and are up for revision, but what do we know about the status of fine arts programs across the country? After massive cuts to public education funding in Philadelphia, Chicago and throughout the rest of the country, I am here to tell you the U.S. D.O.E. has no clue on the status of fine arts programs across the U.S.A..

Friday, August 2, 2013

Why is "this" a huge problem for Tony Bennett?

By now, news of Tony Bennett's nefarious acts of data manipulation are well known throughout Indiana and the rest of the Country. My question is this. Just what did he mean by "This is a huge problem?" The fact that one of his top donor's charter schools was not an "A" list school? Or was it something else? Was Bennett alluding to the fact that the A-F school grading system, standardized learning experience and state mandated high stakes testing is not an optimal way to educate children? Bennett could have pursued other directions in reforming schools such as alleviating student-teacher ratios, making class sizes smaller or emphasizing the arts in education or making sure the 1.1 million children who attend public schools are not suffering from food and health anxiety. But no. He had another agenda. Millions of taxpayer money went to high stakes testing publishers McGraw Hill and to privatizers of public education. There are more questions that need to be asked, for example why was the Indiana State Board of Education not protecting Hoosier children from data manipulation? For those of us who are concerned about the disinvestment of Indiana public education and policy manipulation by the likes of corporate reformers and stealth public school privatizers like Tony Bennett and his cohorts, this is only a beginning. 

Ready to get involved? You can start here: 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Do You Know a Child Like Primo?

To think that Primo and over 4 million students like him are not afforded opportunities to refine their creative capacities and extend their imaginative growth in high quality fine arts programs means we will have lost future designers, creators, engineers and innovators who can make a difference in solving the wicked problems of the 21st Century. We cannot afford future failures of imagination.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Midwest Friends of Public Education In Fort Wayne To Discuss the De-Investment of Public Schools

“A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. Today’s child is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you are gone, attend to the things which you think are important. You may adopt all the policies you please; but how they are carried out depends on the child at school today. That little child is going to assume control of your cities, states and nations. That little pupil is going to take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. All your books, policies and ideas are going to be judged by children at school today. The fate of humanity is in their hands.”
Participants from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Alabama gather in Fort Wayne for the Midwest Friends of Public Education Summit and discuss issues and solutions related to the de-investment of public education by U.S. state and federal government on Saturday, July 20th. What's wrong with the current educational landscape? Higher class sizes and cuts to art, music, p.e., library, and social studies curricula. We are witnessing the de-investment of American public schools. Find out more here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Are You Mad Yet? High Stakes Testing Increases Incarceration Rates

A new study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals a devastating fact that is quite startling.
"We evaluate the effects of high school exit exams on high school graduation, incarceration, employment and wages. We construct a state/graduation-cohort dataset using the Current Population Survey, Census and information on exit exams. We find relatively modest effects of high school exit exams except on incarceration. Exams assessing academic skills below the high school level have little effect. However, more challenging standards-based exams reduce graduation and increase incarceration rates. About half the reduction in graduation rates is offset by increased GED receipt. We find no consistent effects of exit exams on employment or the distribution of wages."

The antidote to high stakes testing? Something fine arts teachers and their colleagues have known for quite come time. Authentic assessment and authentic learning are the keys to transformational educational experience.

You can read more here.

I do not mean to be dogmatic about this request, but concerned citizens who understand there are dangers to high stakes testing can do something about this.

You can make a difference.

Tell your congressional representatives to ditch high stakes testing.

Make a 911 CALL TO ACTION on the Reauthorization of ESEA [ Elementary and Secondary Education Act] - REAUTHORIZE with CONDITIONS!

Contact them now!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tell Congress: High Stakes Testing Is Inherently Unfair To Children

 Accountability is code for high stakes testing. Their are many reasons to object to high stakes testing, however the most egregious is the standard error of measurement. Imagine any child with neurological or psycho-emotional pre-dispositions that may know the correct answers on a test, however, because the test is timed and the selected response format is designed to trick children, the confused child incorrectly answers the question(s). Then there is the matter of the cut score. Who loses out by the slimmist margin of percentage points caused by trickery? How many children are penalized whose score is a false indication of their classroom performance? I haven't even gotten into the issue of school privatization, lost opportunities for self determination, wasted experiences in creativity development or marginalization of democracy in education. These tests, not designed by the teachers whose children are being tested, should not carry the weight that they have.

Contact your congressman today and tell them to end high stakes testing and restore equitable funding for all public schools.

More talking points from Northeast Friends of Public Education

Introduce yourself then say: I am a (parent, teacher, concerned constituent).

I want Rep. ____ to push to eliminate the federal requirement for yearly standardized testing in the ESEA bill; and eliminate the federal role in prescribing how teachers should be evaluated.

Instead, the bill should focus on equity: by requiring that states submit plans showing how they will improve equitable funding in their schools, and by omitting ANY restriction on the amount of Title II funds that can be spent on class size reduction. Smaller classes are a proven strategy to increase equity, and there is no better way to give all children a better chance to learn.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


NorthEast Indiana Friends of Public Education:



Join supporters of public education from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio for the second four state conference on organizing to stop the dismantling of public education.

The conference will provide an opportunity to share experiences and strategies with others from your state and from neighboring states. The conference will feature a panel discussion focused on examining the impact of the current reforms. Panelists include
  • Vic Smith, Indiana educator and legislative watchdog
  • Rob Glass, Superintendent of Bloomfield Hill Schools, Michigan
  • Kathy Friend, Chief Financial Officer, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Indiana
  • Stephanie Keiles, Teacher/Parent, Plymouth Canton Community Schools, Michigan
  • Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, Parent/Advocate, Chairperson, Indiana Coalition for Public Education--Monroe County and South Central Indiana.

Event Details

Plymouth Congregational Church
501 W Berry St.
Fort Wayne, IN 46807
When: Saturday 20 Jul 2013 from 9:45am to 3:15pm (US/Eastern)
            (Registration and Coffee from 9:00am to 9:45am)

Registration Due by: Thursday 18 Jul 2013 12:00pm (US/Eastern)


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Noted Author Sally Gardner on British Standardized Education

From the BBC:
"Wouldn't it be good if we could let teachers do what they do best - teach. Not judge each child on a series of standardized exams. Let schools embrace, not exclude, those like me with a different way of thinking.
"Stop praising literacy with one hand and closing libraries with the other. Let librarians be free to do what they do best: encourage a lifelong love of reading in every child, even the ones without a hope of ever getting an A star."
Meanwhile, across the "pond", high stakes standardized testing has driven the vitality and creativity out of American classrooms once the envy of education systems across the World.

Trending...The Elimination of Professional Teachers

Greetings Fellow Hoosier Teachers!
Not feeling the love from the Indiana General Assembly? There is a good reason! If schools and teachers are going to be judged by their standardized test scores, then teachers and schools have no other choice than to teach to the test within a narrowed curricula. Fine Arts classes? Creativity? Rigor is more important! What about children who are not good test takers? No excuses!!!  Why is the Indiana General Assembly and other policy makers making life difficult for professional educators? Here is an eye opening perspective from Stephen Krashen.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Common Core: Who Benefits?

The question Indiana Taxpayers need to ask the Indiana General Assembly's Education Study Committee after the 2013 ISTEP testing debacle is this: Was the 95 million spent on McGraw-Hill and the inordinate amount of time taken away from children's meaningful learning experience in the classroom worth it? Now, the Common Core State Standards are under consideration for adoption and with them, even more intensive high stakes testing, data collection and data driven learning experience. 

Since the Stock Market Crash of 2008, standardized high stakes testing of children, data driven learning experience and subsequent test prep activity has increased while school budgets and learning opportunities devoted to creativity has decreased. 

Who benefits from the rigor mortis of the Common Core? This effort to further impose a rigid set of narrowed, mechanized, standardized, educational content on children, assessed through high stakes testing will result in teachers acting on behalf of standardized test publishing companies to standardize human potential. 

Just what I want my child to have, a common, generalized, anesthetic, short answer learning experience rammed down her throat at the expense of under funded schools and economically depressed communities. 

Since 1983 the ginned up premise that public education has been failing, we have seen exorbitant amounts of money spent on high stakes standardized testing with the promise that this would cure the educational and economic ills of America. The reality is something else.

The promise that the top down initiated Common Core is a good thing will make children better educated and college ready is an empty promise. Show me the evidence.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Voucher Bill/House of Cards Dependent On Flawed ISTEP Results

Forcing a narrowed curriculum down the throats of children, teachers compelled to ignore children's interests and passions in the development of learning experience all for this mess of epic proportions.

2013 Hancock County Art Show Is A Huge Advocacy Event

Visitors find the marble run blocks.

Sugar Creek Elementary art teacher Mr. Clark Fralick has a word with parents.

More marble run construction artists.

Young engineers and sculpture artists get a boost!

More action from the marble run center.

Learning to work with gravity is FUN!

Mom and Sister admire older brother's drawing.

Proud artist poses next to his drawing.

More marble run and block building action!
Painters pose in front of their art.

Marble run and block building center were busy both nights!

Action drawing artist stands by his work.

Hancock County Art Educators present four scholarships to Hancock County senior artists.

Mr. Fralicks 6th Graders WOWed the crowd with a straw tower direct from the workshop of Monsieur Eiffel.
The 27th Annual Hancock County Art Exhibition took place on May 2nd and 3rd last weekend. Mrs. Jaydene O'Donoghue and Mrs. Sherri Trainor facilitated a fantastic exhibit in which over 1000 folks were able to view during the two day event.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Voucher Bill Passes, Indiana Voters Ignored

If the election of a new Indiana school superintendent was intended to send a message to the Indiana State legislature to take care of their public schools, they didn't get it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stop Vouchers: Oppose HB1003 NOW!

Let your Senator and Representative know that using the failed A-F system to give vouchers to 18% of Indiana’s school attendance areas is wrong. It will unfairly impact too many schools that were graded unjustly.  They should vote HB 1003 down until a revised A-F system is in place that has validity in the eyes of the public.  Friday is the last day, so send your final thoughts now! Thanks Vic Smith!!!
1.1 million Hoosier school children depend on their art and music programs. Vouchers will reduce public school funding and that will lead to the marginalization of many of these programs. Write to your Indiana Legislators and tell them to vote no on HB1003!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

An Education Optimizing Creativity Development Will Never Be Fully Realized Under Current Conditions

Are you seeking a better understanding of the dangers of high stakes standardized testing, corporate-based, market driven education reform? Take a few minutes of your time to view this video.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Keeping Up On the Indiana State Legislature

Here are two great resources to keep you up to date on legislative issues that affect fine arts education program viability in our schools across the Hoosier State:

Hoosier Voices For Public Education

Indiana Coalition For Public Education

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Indiana Coalition for Public Education Rally

 Public education advocates from across Indiana traveled to the State Capitol today to voice their concerns about the erosion in public education funding taking place within Indiana State Government. For more information on this event visit the Indiana Coalition for Public Education web page.

Vernon Smith tells the crowd, "Follow the money!"

A boisterous crowd filled the North Atrium.

Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer a parent from Monroe County warns parents that vouchers will weaken public schools capacity to deliver top notch educational experiences.

We had a great crowd! 
If you are interested in learning more about the Indiana Coalition for Public Education you can contact them here:

Support Public Education Rally 2:30 Today at the State Capitol!

View from the upper level of the North Atrium during  the 2010 rally in support of Public  Education that was facing a $600,000,000.00 cut from Governor Mitch Daniels that has not been made up since. As a result of that cut, significant numbers of art and music programs around the State of Indiana were cut or marginalized.
If you have spare time today and are near Downtown Indianapolis, stop in at the State House around 2:00 PM. Let's ROCK the Capitol again!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Standardized Testing Kills Creativity

Here is a good way to kill students natural desire to learn and subvert creative experience across the curriculum.

The Kind of School Every American Child Deserves

Here is an excellent essay  from Brian P. Jones on the defunding of public schools across the country,  elimination of creative learning experience, and the hypocrisy of education reformers when it comes to the schools they send their own children to.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Youth Art Month 2013

Youth Art Month exhibitors have their photographs taken with State Supt. Glenda Ritz.
There was a huge crowd of students, parents and teachers at the State House today. Guest speaker Indiana Supt. of Education Glenda Ritz received several ovations from the crowd as she read a proclimation confirming the importance of music and art learning experiences for Indiana school children. My sincerest thanks to all the parents and family members who accompanied their students to the event.
The North Atrium was packed wall to wall.
I felt especially gratified when Supt. Ritz noted during her keynote: "Indiana K-12 music and art programs are valued and will be supported." 
It is with the deepest gratitude that I thank AEAI President Sidney Allen,, AEAI President Elect Bev Staub, YAM Co-Chairs Allie Staub and Mindy Hiatt for their tremendous efforts and all of the AEAI volunteers who came out to make this event one of the best YAM events ever.
New Palestine Elementary 1st Grade YAM exhibitor poses with her radial design
The YAM attendees and AEAI was also honored by a visit with Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann who was also in attendance.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day 2013: The Short and the Long

AEAI President Sidney Allen and I were at the State House last Thursday and this was the seventh time since 2005 that I have attended an Arts Advocacy Day event at the state capitol. I always enjoy this event. I had the chance to visit with Governor Pence for a few moments and I shared with him Bob Sabol's excellent policy analysis for art education advocates, parents, citizens and policy makers. I spent most of my day with House Republicans and had the chance to talk with Vice Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee: District 78 Rep. Suzanne Crouch, District Rep. 53 Bob Cherry, District 60 Rep. Peggy Mayfield, District 47 Rep. John Price, District 70 Rep. Rhonda Rhoads and District 15 Rep. Hal Slager. I basically thanked them for any consideration for improving education funding because since 2009, we have seen cuts to many art programs across the state. Why does it matter? Creativity with a capitol C. Creativity matters because the art room is the center for creativity in our schools. Creativity matters because children thrive in schools where fine arts programs are in place. Creativity matters because the affects of creative experience are critically important to children's psycho-emotional and intellectual development. Creativity matters because professionals and entrepreneurs all across the economic spectrum need it to stay relevant in the world wide economy of the 21st Century. Creativity matters because it is a vital component of our state's dynamic economy. And creativity matters because it is every American child's right to an education that endows him or her with skills related to divergent and creative thinking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day Training Location Changed

The time for training will remain the same - 10:30 a.m.
The location has changed from Union Station, Music for All office.
This change was made due to the change in the session times of the legislators.
Registraton will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Statehouse
Training will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day February 14, 2013

Discussing the importance of creativity in the educational experiences of children with Senator Waltz last year. (Photo courtesy of Tetia Lee, Tippecanoe Arts Federation)
 I plan to "Storm the Floor" with other Indiana arts advocates during the Indiana Coalition of the Arts annual lobbying event. If you want to get some great lobbying training, please consider meeting up with members of INCA  and other arts advocates at the Music for All offices located at Union Station around 10:30 AM. I cannot attend the training session but will arrive at the Indiana State House for the reception around 12:30. If you are interested in contacting me, please do so at Will see you at the State House this Thursday!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Problem Here....

HB1003 is a voucher expansion bill that could bleed nearly 50 million dollars from public school funding. This bill has received support from the Indiana House and is supported by the Governor. I view this bill as having a chilling effect on public school systems capacity to maintain funding for under funded fine arts programs in public schools across the state. Are you concerned? Contact your Indiana State senator and your Indiana House representative here:  More on HB1003 here.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bullying A Problem In Schools Today? Ask For More Arts Education: Creating a Culture of Acceptance Conference March 9th at the Indiana Convention Center

The arts play a huge roll in the development of creative thinking skills but also make significant contributions to the development of a form of intelligence known as empathy. The psycho-dynamic affects of fine arts experience as a positive force in the amelioration of violent tendencies is well known. This is why arts advocates are very sensitive to the displacement of arts education experiences in our schools. Please consider joining educators, parents, students, concerned citizens and other interested professionals in a bullying prevention conference  at the Indiana Convention Center on March 9th.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Very Special Advocate....

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz is a huge supporter of fine arts education.

I had the pleasure of talking to Indiana Superintendent of Education Glenda Ritz this evening and I can tell you one thing, she is acutely aware of the importance of fine arts experiences in the lives of children.  I am very confident that Supt. Ritz will be one of our most important art advocates for the coming years. I look forward to visiting with her and many of our Indiana State Lawmakers very soon. Please consider joining us on Feb. 14 for Arts Advocacy Day. Check with me at if you are interested in this event or you can register here at the Indiana Coalition for the Arts website.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Said....

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education. "

You can read Dr. King's essay on education here:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Will Indiana State School Funding Keep Pace With Inflation?

If newly elected Governor Pence believes it is ok to cut public education further by offering a meager 1% increase in school funding, a 1.1% decrease when one takes into account the 2012 average rate of inflation, then Hoosier school children's opportunities for fine arts learning and imaginative and creative growth will certainly be at risk across the State of Indiana.
Send Governor Pence a message that we cannot afford future cuts to education especially since the $300,000,000 shortfall from 2011 has not been made up.

Here is the link for Governor Pence.
Here are a few talking points you can copy and paste into your message:
  • Please reconsider your education budget. Many of the State of Indiana's public school fine arts programs were marginalized or cut due to the $300,000,000 shortfall from 2011. Their are so many reasons to keep the arts strong in Indiana schools. I urge you to reconsider your budget proposals.
  • Fine arts education and the creative thinking skills learned in the art room and the music room is related directly to economic development. According to a 2010 IBM survey of over 1500 CEO's of major corporations from across the world, creativity is the number one factor in the success of their companies. The art and music programs are the centers of creativity development in our schools.
  •  Education funding must include consideration for the preservation of existing fine arts programs. 
  •  The creativity of our children is a national resource we cannot afford to waste.
  • Children need fine arts educational experiences that empower the imagination and enhance the capacity for creativity and invention.
  • Creative thinking skills fostered in music and art transfer directly to STEM professions. STEM learning in our schools should not be a "fill in the blank" experience. The arts epitomize hands on learning in our schools and are critical for developing problem posers and problem solvers.
  •  Neural networks within the brain’s operating systems are stimulated, strengthened and expanded when children are engaged in high quality art and music education experience. Visual arts learning experiences strengthen children’s attentional memory and music educational experience trains the brain’s capacity for working memory. 
  • There are three basic skills children need if they want to thrive in the knowledge economy: the ability to communicate effectively; the ability to collaborate, and the ability to do critical thinking and creative problem-solving. One cannot make the claim that quality, world class educational experiences are being provided for Hoosier school children if subjects and programs specifically designed to foster creative problem solving are removed from the curricula.
  • Fine Arts education experiences are critical for a well rounded education.   Human beings are hard wired to think and dream in visual images. Ideas and intellectual property dependent upon visual thinkers will become assets in the new economy of the 21st Century. The refinement of the imagination as developed through the visual arts will provide future designers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, professionals and others with the creative edge they will need to compete in an increasingly competitive and uncertain future.
  • Students thrive in schools where art and music are present in the curriculum. When educational experience is monotonous and based on tedious pencil and paper seat work, learning often times goes’ into one ear, and out the other. This fact is extremely important for policymakers to consider.  Results from the latest High School Survey of Student Engagement, conducted by researchers from Indiana University with over 350,000 high school students participating from across the U.S. reveals 67% of students did not feel engaged during their school years. Upon further examination of the survey, students reveal subject areas like art, music and drama provide them with significant opportunities for personal engagement with their learning. Disengaged individuals frequently drop out of school resulting in higher crime rates, lack of unemployment opportunities and a myriad of other wicked socio economic problems. Public schools are the backbone of our communities. The health of our public school system affects us all.
  • We  know that children thrive in schools that provide regular quality fine arts experiences.

A boy alters the design of his cardboard glider.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Subverting Indiana Voters....

When Glenda Ritz was selected as new Indiana Superintendent she garnered more votes in the state than any other candidate running for public office except for President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Legislators in the state are trying to shamelessly subvert the will of Indiana Voters by marginalizing her position as chair of the Indiana State Board of Education.
If House Bill 1251 and House Bill 1309 are passed in the Indiana General Assembly, over 1,332,700 voters in Indiana who sought stability and support for their public schools will be marginalized.
Indiana citizens should be appalled by this outrageous meddling.
After reading Karen Francisco's article, you can contact your legislators here.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What is the number one attribute business leaders say is critical to their success?

Thinking about cutting the arts? Think again:

IBM 2010 Global CEO Study: Creativity Selected as Most Crucial Factor for Future Success

ARMONK, NY, - 18 May 2010: According to a major new IBM (NYSE: IBM) survey of more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, chief executives believe that -- more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision -- successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity. Read the rest of the report here.

Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein on Creativity

The authors of "Sparks of Genius" discuss the importance of fine arts education in the development of human creativity and why it is important for the future of science.

Education is not just about what we are putting into the brain, it is how it is done. What is happening to the brain while we are involved in the learning process is just as important as the content we are putting into it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Where are fine arts program cuts happening in Indiana?

I am collecting general information of fine arts program cuts that have occurred in the last few years. Any info you share with me will be confidential. If you are interested in sharing your info, please contact me at Thanks so much! Clyde
A second grade boy expresses his ideas in a large drawing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day February 14th

The Indiana Coalition For the Arts will hold their annual Arts Advocacy Day at the Indiana State
Capitol on February 14th. I will share more information on this important event soon.
Please consider joining me and other arts advocates as we communicate the importance of fine arts experience in our schools and in our communities to members of the Indiana General Assembly.

Clyde Gaw speaks with Senator Brent Waltz of Greenwood during the 2012 Arts Advocacy Day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Arts Education At Risk Again....

Back in 2010, Robert Sabol published the results of a study from a national survey he conducted in which 3412 visual art teachers responded to qualitative and quantitative questions regarding the impact the No Child Left Behind Act had on their art programs. To my knowledge, Dr. Sabol's study, gives us the clearest picture yet of the affect NCLB has had on programs devoted to the development of creativity in U.S. Schools. The results are not pretty:
  •  Respondents reported that NCLB has had negative effects on scheduling, workloads and funding for their visual art education programs.
  •  NCLB has had limited negative consequences on the areas of staffing, teaching loads and enrollments.
  • Respondents reported that NCLB’s focus on assessment has had unintended secondary consequences on student learning, including a narrowing of students’ interests in learning and
    exploring a broad range of content.
What has changed since? Race to the Top.

From my perspective, RttT emphasizes teaching to the test and the narrowing of the school curricula even further than NCLB.

Now, to complicate matters: According to a recent U.S.D.O.E. report on arts education, program funding devoted to creativity development in U.S. schools has stagnated. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan states: "... there have not been significant national declines in the availability of music and visual arts instruction in elementary and secondary schools."

 Secretary Duncan states we are not experiencing significant declines from a vital area in education that has already been marginalized? This is not good for children.

Add to this situation the state and federal funding dilemma schools face in this age of austerity and children are at a higher risk of having their fine arts learning opportunities reduced even further.

Let me just say that as schools are charged with the immense task of developing the future inhabitants of civilization, children's creative capacities are an aspect of their education that should never, ever be neglected.

If you have not communicated the importance of arts education funding in our schools, I urge you to contact your Indiana Legislators here:

Not sure who to contact? You can find Indiana and U.S. Legislators here.

Need advocacy talking points? Find them here:

Your efforts are critical for the preservation of creativity development and fine arts learning opportunities in our schools.

Best wishes....Clyde

5th Grade boys and their 12th Grade mentor collaborate on a kinetic sculpture in art class at New Palestine Elementary.