Questionable contract?

If you want to volunteer for our Citizens Contract Oversight Committee, or have a tip to share, please email us at

Friday, March 7, 2008

DOE "Creates" New Arts Position

March 7, 2008 (GBN News): The NY City Department of Education, as part of its effort to expand arts education in the schools, announced today the creation of a new administrative position, a “Chief Creativity Officer”. The $1.9 million a year position will be filled by billionaire philanthropist Smellington Worthington III.

At a Tweed Courthouse news conference, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told reporters, “The advent of this new position should demonstrate once and for all the importance we place on arts education. Mr. Worthington has a great deal of experience not only as a patron of the arts, but as one with a passion for educational reform, which has long been a hobby of his.”

The Chancellor went on to outline some of the ways in which the DOE plans to increase the role of the arts in the curriculum. Foremost among them will be the integration of the arts into standardized testing. “At a time of tight budgets, it is essential that we avoid waste and duplication. Therefore, we have devised an innovative way not only to teach the arts, but to test it in tandem with academic subjects so that we can assess it efficiently and maintain accountability.”

Mr. Klein explained that the DOE is partnering with McGraw Hill to modify its standardized tests to include the four major creative arts. Students will now be expected to be more creative in their answers. For example a question on an ELA test might require that a student sing the answer instead of filling in a bubble. Such a question would be graded not only on the basis of accuracy, but on tonality and artistic impression. Or, a math question requiring an answer in graph form would expect the graph to meet certain artistic standards such as color coordination and straightness of lines, and might require the student to draw a background picture for embellishment.

The Chancellor, anticipating critics who will undoubtedly contend that such a program is not practical, said, “If you can measure it, it can be successful. We expect every student will graduate with enough proficiency in the arts to compete on American Idol. And if they get voted off, the teachers and the principals will be held accountable – and we will vote them off as well.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe that there needs to be more creative outlets in schools, that children should spend more time developing their imaginations through, painting, drawing, singing, dancing etc. but this has to be the dumbest idea known to man. Testing for Art! Right, more testing, just what we need.
Who is this "billionaire" art collector and why would he qualified to hold this position?