Faculty protests music cuts at NYC arts high school

Posted on: October 30, 2017

“A music mutiny has erupted at the ‘Fame’ high school,” writes Susan Edelman in Saturday’s New York Post. “The music faculty at Fiorello LaGuardia HS says Principal Lisa Mars has made changes and cutbacks at the renowned arts and performing arts powerhouse that have ‘stressed our department beyond the breaking point.’ Mars, who joined the school in 2013, has stirred controversy by putting more emphasis on academics at the elite Upper West Side institution. Recently, she has cut music classes, eliminated a key coordinator’s post, and turned the instrumental music office into a drug-counseling center, teachers complain.… Last week, Mars met with all 17 music teachers … Founded as an arts school in 1936, LaGuardia was immortalized in the 1980 film ‘Fame.’ Alumni include a galaxy of stars such as Liza Minnelli, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Vanessa Williams and Jennifer Aniston, along with top artists, composers and musicians. The music teachers blame Mars for scrapping the position of instrumental music coordinator … courses on jazz, Bach, and orchestration and conducting have been lost, teachers say.… DOE Superintendent Fred Walsh issued a statement saying, ‘Dr. Mars is deeply committed to the success of all of LaGuardia’s students—including its music students.’ ”

Posted October 30, 2017