New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0019-2018    Version: * Name: DOE to provide a music teacher in every school.
Type: Resolution Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Education
On agenda: 1/31/2018
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to provide a music teacher in every school.
Sponsors: Fernando Cabrera , Justin L. Brannan, Karen Koslowitz
Council Member Sponsors: 3
Attachments: 1. January 31, 2018 - Stated Meeting Agenda

Res. No. 19

 

Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to provide a music teacher in every school.

 

By Council Members Cabrera, Brannan and Koslowitz

Whereas, Instruction in the arts is an integral part of a quality education; and

Whereas, Considerable research shows that arts education significantly enhances students' cognitive, personal, and social growth and increases analytical and problem-solving skills; and

Whereas, Further, low-income students who have access to arts education “tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement,” according to a 2012 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent agency of the federal government; and

Whereas, Music education is particularly important, because research shows that music education facilitates language development, as musical training physically develops the part of the brain involved with processing language; and

Whereas, All students in New York State from pre-K through high school are required to receive instruction in the arts, including visual arts, music, dance and theatre; and

Whereas, State requirements for the amount of arts education vary according to grade level; and

Whereas, New York State Education Department (NYSED) guidelines for grades 1-3 recommend that 20% of the weekly time spent in school should be allocated to dance, music, theatre and visual arts; and in grades 4-6, 10% of the weekly time spent in school should be allocated to dance, music, theatre and visual arts; and

Whereas, Over the course of grades 7 and 8, the State requires students to receive one-half unit of study in the visual arts, and one-half unit of study in music, where one half-unit is the equivalent of approximately 55 hours of instruction by a certified arts teacher in New York City; and

Whereas, In high school, New York State graduation requirements include one unit in the arts (dance, theater, visual arts, and/or music), with one unit the equivalent of two credits in New York City; and

Whereas, The New York City Department of Education (DOE) has made progress in meeting NYSED arts instructional requirements and guidelines; however, there is still a long way to go; and

Whereas, For example, only 45% of City elementary schools provided the required instruction in all four arts disciplines to all grades 1-5, according to DOE’s 2016-17 Annual Arts in Schools Report; and

Whereas, One key reason why City schools are unable to meet NYSED arts instructional requirements and guidelines is a lack of certified arts teachers; and

Whereas, In January 2018, DOE reported a record number of full-time certified arts teachers, with a total of 2,770 in pre-K-12 schools in 2016-17, up from 2,681 in the previous year; and

Whereas, Yet, that number of certified arts teachers is wholly inadequate, given that there are over 1,800 schools for grades K-12 in New York City and hundreds more pre-K programs; and

Whereas, Further, schools are required to provide instruction in visual arts, music, dance and theatre, and the 2,770 certified arts teachers reported is the total across all four disciplines, with no breakdown available of the number of teachers in each discipline; and

Whereas, Given the State requirements for and overall benefits of arts education, and particularly the critical importance of music education in facilitating language development; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the New York City Council calls upon the New York City Department of Education to provide a music teacher in every school.

 

 

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