13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?
New York City is the most diverse city in the country. Our public education system reflects that. I believe in a fair curriculum that encompasses all cultures so our children can grown not only academically but creatively and socially. I will mandate that our arts education programs reflect such.
12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?
First, we have to get people back to work. Families are suffering, our children are suffering. We will allocate more funding to allow these hires so we can be more proactive in reaching out to community-based organizations and partnering with such.
10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?
No response provided.
11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?
My plan is to streamline the educational bureaucracy that currently exists. We will eliminate inefficient, political appointee positions and allocate that funding back into the classroom, where we can hire more certified teachers and instructors to ensure our children are receiving what they are entitled to.
9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?
Yes, without question. Our public school system has allowed far too many mandates to slide by, including arts learning requirements. I vow to hold the DOE responsible and accountable for meeting these mandates.
Yes, I certainly commit to requesting and participating in hearings and meetings.
8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?
I absolutely support the restoration of per capita dedicated funding. We have lost too many crucial programs because of budget deficits and our children are suffering. In New York City children should have access to the finest arts and music programs in the world, and right now they don’t have such. That needs to be corrected.
7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?
Our current education system is a bloated bureaucracy that far too often fails to utilize funds on our children, our classrooms and the tools necessary. To eliminate this, we must streamline our education system to ensure funding is being utilized correctly. A direct line of communication between principals, administrators and the Office of the Chancellor must be put in place. We need to hear from every school regarding shortfalls and failures so we can address them quickly and efficiently. Budget reports must be analyzed to ensure proper, responsible spending. Parent leaders will have a voice in my administration so they can attest to what is needed and what is not being addressed. Accountability from the Chancellor to the Mayor’s Office is essential.
6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?
As Mayor, my administration will focus on the equitable distribution of funding and opportunities across our city. We will have a schools chancellor in place whose responsibility is to make sure every child in every community is afforded the same opportunity, with checks and balances to ensure accountability. To do such, we need to streamline the process and eliminate obstacles and bureaucracy. Principals will be tasked with reporting directly to the chancellor any shortcomings of resources and they will be addressed immediately.
5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?
We simply have to ensure that the arts are never diminished within our curriculum. The arts serve as an outlet for children to express and communicate their fears through creativity, while affording teachers the opportunity to answer questions that become clearer through the child’s expression. I understand that a school day is already crowded with academics and other courses, but we must prioritize arts and institute more after-school opportunities if time constraints necessitate such.
4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?
It is essential for our students to be able to communicate their fears or confusion in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it may be difficult for them to do such in a standard classroom setting or frightening in a guidance counselor-type setting, within an arts class atmosphere children may be more open and forthcoming. Without the rigidity of academics, children may utilize this opportunity to express any feelings they may have. That is, at it’s core, what arts education is all about. For that reason I would allocate more resources towards training art teachers and instructors on how to counsel children in this regard, incorporating more conversation within the program in order to foster a ‘safe space’ atmosphere.