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?
CR-SP is grounded in the belief that children bring diverse, indispensable sources of knowledge to classrooms. When this knowledge is incorporated into pedagogy and celebrated, we see positive academic, social, and emotional outcomes. Blending academic study with critical thinking around contemporary issues allows students to incorporate their identities and experiences into their learning, ensuring that students will have more positive and engaging experiences in school.
CR-SP also helps students develop cross-cultural competencies, a deep empathy for others, and a deeper understanding of themselves. These skills will help students feel empowered as change-makers in society and show them that women, people of color, and those from historically marginalized communities can hold influential positions in society.
Arts education is an incredible opportunity for students to communicate and reflect on their own identities through artistic expression. We will invest in our teacher pipeline by implementing hiring practices and “grow your own” programs that have a demonstrated history of effective recruitment and retention of BIPOC educators in high needs schools. Increasing the number of teachers of color in arts positions is an important step in ensuring culturally responsive pedagogy is implemented with fidelity and more importantly, reaffirms and celebrates student identity.
As such, we will use the arts to support our schools in becoming more representative of all cultures and lived experiences, so that our students can see that the arts belong to them, and learn about other students and/or communities whose experiences vary from their own.
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?
We must revitalize and fund the creation of robust, long-term partnerships between schools and the city’s vast arts and creative resources, including and especially with grassroots, neighborhood organizations rooted in the community. In addition, the centerpiece of New Deal New York, my economic recovery proposal, is a Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus and jobs program which will create up to 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers. 30,000 will be new jobs through projects that will employ artists, construction, technology, and engineer workers, along with approximately 70,000 indirect jobs for childcare workers, librarians, home healthcare workers, and manufacturers.
As part of the plan, $1 billion in new and accelerated spending will go toward designing a recovery for artists and culture workers, to put the City’s artists and performers back to work by providing performance and studio spaces, and through other capital expenditures that support arts and culture in the City.
11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?
To increase the number of certified art teachers in our schools, and retain them, we must better fund and increase access to certification programs, streamline the hiring of qualified arts teachers and specialists, and remove the evaluation of arts teachers currently tied to student performance in subjects other than art.
10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?
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, as a result of schools not meeting the state mandates for arts instruction, scores of children do not receive clear pathways to meaningful arts education. I will require the DOE to live up to its mandate of meeting the NYSED Arts Learning Requirement by the end of eighth grade, understanding how critical arts education is to social emotional development.
8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?
Yes, in order to ensure that arts education is protected and maintained across our schools, it is important that it receive dedicated funding.
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?
My administration would redistribute money that is currently being spent on testing contracts, Discovery, test prep, tests, test administration, and test grading to fully fund arts programming in every school, 3K-12th grade. As Mayor, I will end gifted and talented testing, which will free up $5 million for arts funding.
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?
We must do more to support the arts and cultural organizations that are so central to the vibrancy of our city, which is why I am proud to be a supporter of arts projects such as The Laundromat Project. As Mayor, a major goal of mine is to reprioritize the budget to invest in education and specifically the arts and culturally responsive pedagogy. We cannot develop plans to ensure equitable distribution of resources without centering racial justice, diversity, and inclusion. My education platform prioritizes funding for high-need districts that have been historically underfunded, disinvested, and excluded. This includes solidifying partnerships with CBOs to provide arts and cultural education to our schools that educate a majority of students of color. I will also explore ways to involve arts and cultural organizations within our universal community care model; by bridging connections and accessible pathways between our community centers and locally run arts and cultural organizations.
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 know that daily access to arts education improves students’ mental health outcomes, self-confidence, and self-awareness. As such, it is critical to healing from the pandemic, and my platform proposes daily arts education programming for all of the city’s students in every year of the system, including in non-arts focused high schools. In addition, my administration will create a pathway for every child who wants training in the disciplines evaluated in auditions / portfolio assessments for arts high schools, so that students interested in these disciplines do not need private lessons to be eligible to attend.
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?
My education platform proposes making a major new investment to build teams at each school to provide academic intervention for students and assist with their mental health needs. Our students and communities have been traumatized by the pandemic, and they need support beyond the academic. New York City has a successful network of community schools, and, using significant funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), we will build on this network by providing increased resources to schools to provide on site services such as healthcare and mental health services and work with community partners at Community Care Centers (CCC) to provide extended day and tutoring services. We will prioritize high needs schools to phase in the program.