Major cuts for arts education in Minneapolis schools

Posted on: November 18, 2010

In Wednesday’s (11/17) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Corey Mitchell writes, “The silence inside some schools can be deafening. No singing, no music and, for some students, very little that isn’t tested, assessed or evaluated to determine the worth of their education. School boards and superintendents when making budget cuts often take the first whack at music and other fine arts education, said Mary Schaefle, executive director of the Minnesota Music Educators Association. A statewide survey is underway to determine just how deep the lacerations are. The results will probably tell Schaefle something she already knows: Arts education has taken a beating. With grants and fundraiser proceeds, students and staff at Jenny Lind School in far north Minneapolis are fighting back. Principal Aura Wharton-Beck and music teacher Stacy Aldrich are nurturing a pint-sized string orchestra, the only one at a North Side elementary school. More than 100 first- and second-grade students are playing violins in twice-a-week 15-minute lessons. … ‘We have high poverty, high mobility, but high expectations,’ Wharton-Beck said. ‘We’re trying to make sure we give students the right foundation to take off.’ ”

Posted November 18, 2010