Including the fine arts in a K-12 curriculum

Including the fine arts in a K-12 curriculum is a controversial issue in educational institutions and local school settings.  Some educators and administrators view the arts as a “frivolous” appendage to the overall school program.  Others believe they are an integral part of developing well-rounded individuals and contend that the arts support academic achievement.  Since the arts are not included in high stakes testing, communities in support of fine arts programs are finding it difficult to justify the resources and time allocated for music, art, and drama when offered.  In higher education, over the years, fine arts departments have built extensive community outreach programs for the local schools.  Times are such that there is intensifying talk involving reducing the budget for such outreach programs.  While these programs have relied less on actual dollars, the institutions acknowledged the work of faculty and staff in advancement programs and considered such support and outreach as a kind of monetary investment.  As an instructional leader, you are being asked to develop a program that addresses inclusion of the arts in an era of sharply limited resources.  You are to present to your immediate supervisor and ultimately the educational community a clear and thoroughly researched report with recommendations regarding this program.
A.    What process in the creation of this plan would you use to identify and select the appropriate stakeholders?
B.    What are the curricular, instructional, professional development, and program evaluation issues that must be considered and addressed?
C.    What are the economic, legal, and ethical issues, implications, and ramifications of a plan as related to staff and a diverse student body?

Design and develop a research project to evaluate the impact of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) on teacher development and student achievement. In order to assess for effectiveness and outcomes of your PLC for your institution, you will need to conduct deep research about organizational elements and professional dispositions that predict successful outcome in this arena.  For this question, generate a research proposal that will serve as the basis for assessing the impact of a PLC on faculty development and student achievement.  Your proposed research study will be shared with local and state officials, administrators, curriculum specialists, parents, students, and others in the community.
In your answer, be sure to include responses to the following questions:
B.    What data collection methods would best suit your study?
C.    How would you analyze your different data sources?
D.    What is the value/importance of a study of this type?
E.    What do experts in this field say about this type of study, from both content and a research methodology perspective?
F.    What ethical issues might arise during and from this type of study?  How would you lessen these concerns to protect participants?
G.    Would there be limitations for your study from a methodological perspective?

“No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) created a good deal of focus on curriculum, instruction, and accountability through high stakes testing. The Common Core Standards have extended the focus of curriculum. However, unlike NCLB the Common Core are not accepted by every state for inclusion in the curriculum. Discuss and articulate your position regarding educational rigor related to student assessment and accountability. Should educational rigor be a national or local responsibility?  Support your ideas by providing examples that have been presented in your reading, from research, and/or through your course work.

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