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?
I believe that delivering a robust arts education — as well as additional afterschool (I’ve proposed universal free afterschool) and physical education, and more — is crucial to bringing our kids forward from the pandemic, emotionally and academically. We need both a formal arts curriculum and more free time for expression. Many kids have been dis-engaged from school for over a year, and we need to be creative about how to ensure they have creative outlets in school that help them express and process the experience of COVID.
For example, while I would certainly work to ensure that every school has a dedicated arts instructor and that all students receive required arts programming, I believe we can do more to open opportunities to build the arts into all academic areas. By encouraging partnerships with arts organizations and increased professional development for teachers, schools can create project-based curriculum in nearly any subject that is infused with creativity and active hands-on learning opportunities.