Thursday, July 22, 2010

Update on 2009 NBI #36--Discipline Specific Arts Certification

A formal request has been made by Tom McLaughlin, NEA FAC Chair to have the memorandum sent to us electronically.  We have also requested research finding, guidance for states on licensure endorsements, and recommendations for next steps.  Once received this information will be posted to our listserv for members to use in their state work. NEA FAC Board Member Pam Gibberman's comments are included at the bottom of this post.

Discipline-Specific Arts Certification NEA will work with state affiliates to recognize and advocator for discipline specific arts certification/licensure (i.e. dance, drama/theatre, music and visual arts).


NEA Teacher Quality (TQ) reviewed the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) database for research, resources and information about discipline-specific arts certification/licensure requirements. This information was used to develop a memorandum from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, NEA Executive Director John Wilson, and NEA Director of TQ Segun Eubanks to state association presidents, executive directors, and instruction and professional development contacts regarding discipline-specific arts certification. The memorandum includes research findings, guidance for states on licensure endorsements, and recommendations for next steps. The memorandum
was disseminated to affiliates in the spring of 2010.


President Van Roekel, fellow delegates, I am speaking as a proud member of UTLA/CTA/NEA and the NEA Fine Arts Caucus. I am here asking for your help and support. We are not seeking a federal mandate. This is a matter of equity. Each art form has it’s own body of knowledge and skills that must be acquired by its practitioners and which must be mastered by teachers in order to instruct students. Why should music be recognized as a discrete subject, but not dance? Are visual arts more important than theatre arts?
In Los Angeles Unified School District last year there were 59 teachers hired to teach dance. 59 hired to teach theatre, and 59 hired to teach visual arts in elementary schools because of their solid background, training and experience in their respective disciplines. Veteran dance teachers were force to take PE courses several years ago in order to be deemed “highly qualified” according to the “so called’ No Child Left Behind Act.

The newest dance teachers were Reduced-In-Force had not yet done so. The theatre teachers who were RIF’d did not have the credentials to teach English but were forced to do so! Why are these art forms not worthy of recognition in and of themselves?

Please NEA help make it possible for the students of every state to receive instruction in each art discipline by teachers who are certified/licensed in dance, drama/theatre, music or the visual arts.

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