How We Transformed Our School

Art, music, and PE are the heart of a school. Always have been and always will be.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This teacher posted an answer to reader Alice’s question: What do we do after we win? He describes how teachers transformed his school, using their ingenuity, their professional wisdom, and their knowledge of the students. The successful school was torpedoed by the “reform movement.” But the model sounds awfully smart.

He writes:

I began teaching in 1965 at The #1 school in our district that slowly changed as the city moved north. Then I moved to the HS 2 blocks away….27 years of challenging but rewarding teaching. Then moved on to a middle school in the socio economically deprived SE part of town. Kids attendance was poor, behavior was worse. Community wanted the best for the kids but didn’t have the resources and the principal was unresponsive. Then we got a new, inspired, caring, skilled principal who had enough insight to give his faculty an open hand in developing curricula…

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The power of play​

The above article is great.  Play is so important and I used to encourage it in my classroom. Unfortunately, I was told a few years ago that students playing, creating games and working together by choice was meaningless because it was not assessed and a waste of instructional time.  How wrong that administrator was…

Looking for the positive…
I was shocked that Wilmington has been labeled “Murdertown,” and now a tv show featuring Jada Smith may be filmed in Wilmington. 

Bad, but good for the arts, if the series is popular and continues for sometime.  This tv series could bring jobs and money to Delaware and a renewed need for arts programs in our state.  Let’s hope the best comes of this for the sake of our children.

We the people, for the people doesn’t seem to be important. 

Delaware received an F on this assessment, 48th in the nation, with no state getting over a C.  With education so focused on meeting standards, communicating with parents, and keeping computerized records up to date so everyone knows what is going in everywhere. Why is our government the complete opposite?  Check out this article. 

Why Must Schools Choose Between Larger Class Sizes or Unified Arts Programs?

If your school has to choose, please let me know.


I believe every school in our state should have technology, pe, art, music, library and talented and gifted programs. I know it costs lots of money. Our class sizes should not have to suffer because of these programs. Schools should not have to choose between class size and the arts. These programs are just as important as reading, math, social studies and science.

My daughter participated in Youth in Government, she wrote a bill called the Mandatory Unified Arts. I am proud to say, she won best Senate Bill that year. Just a shout out to Melissa Tracy at Conrad for running a fabulous program and Beth Blohm for chaperoning every year.

Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? Very interested to hear what folks have to say.

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Arts Education in Los Angeles: A Victim of Misguided Reforms

The arts are in danger everywhere.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Los Angeles Times reports that arts education has been shortchanged in the Los Angeles Unified School District in recent years, even as the district leadership was pouring millions of dollars into testing, test-prep, and technology. Former superintendent John Deasy was willing to allocate $1.3 Billion to buy iPads for Common Core testing, but at the same time, many schools across the district had no arts teachers.

Under the philosophy that test scores are the only measure that matters, that low scores lead to school closures, the district neglected the arts.

Normandie Avenue Elementary Principal Gustavo Ortiz worries that he can’t provide arts classes for most of the 900 students at his South Los Angeles school.

Not a single art or music class was offered until this year at Curtiss Middle School in Carson.

At Carlos Santana Arts Academy in North Hills, a campus abuzz with visual and performing arts…

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