July 2021 | Arts Ed RECAP

on June 30, 2021

Arts Education RECAP

Read all the research, news, and policy in our arts education RECAP for July 2021.


Why Ages 2-7 Matter So Much for Brain Development “Children’s brains develop in spurts called critical periods. The first occurs around age 2, with a second one occurring during adolescence. At the start of these periods, the number of connections (synapses) between brain cells (neurons) doubles. Two-year-olds have twice as many synapses as adults. Because these connections between brain cells are where learning occurs, twice as many synapses enable the brain to learn faster than at any other time of life. Therefore, children’s experiences in this phase have lasting effects on their development.” Edutopia

California Arts Council Issues New Arts in Corrections Report “The California Arts Council released today the findings of a needs assessment and process and impact evaluation of the state agency’s Arts in Corrections program. The report, Flowers Grown in Concrete: Exploring the Healing Power of the Arts for People Experiencing Incarceration—demonstrates three major findings for California’s prison-based arts programming and instruction, with the objective of enhancing and expanding student-centered rehabilitation and reintegration efforts in the future” California Arts Council


LA Unified Expands Early Literacy Program “Primary Promise was launched as a pilot program this past August to boost early literacy rates among young students attending L.A. Unified schools. According to the school district, reading scores have improved among all students who have joined, prompting a massive expansion of the program. What began as a pilot with 2,500 students will become a program with 14,000 students by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, and the district intends to continue growing the program.” EdSource

At Ed Dept. Equity Summit, Marten Announces Plans to Address ‘Pressing Needs’ of Students with Disabilities “The U.S. Department of Education plans to make the needs of students with disabilities a higher priority when schools fully reopen in the fall, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten said Tuesday during a virtual summit focusing on equity.” The74

Legislators, Students Push for K-12 Asian American Studies “As students push for more inclusive curriculum, some lawmakers, educators and students themselves are working to address gaps in instruction and fight harmful stereotypes by pushing for more Asian American history to be included in K-12 lesson plans.” AP News

During COVID, States Let Students Get Speech Therapy, Mental Health Counseling & Other Services Online. Make Those Changes Permanent “School-based telehealth, when implemented according to research and best practice guidelines, helps provide students with access to clinician expertise and high-quality care. Highly skilled, fully licensed and credentialed therapists and counselors use the same methods and evidence-based practices as they would in person.” The74

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case Over Transgender Students’ Bathroom Rights, Letting Lower-Court Victory for Gavin Grimm Stand “Transgender students belong in our schools,” Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who represented Grimm, said in a news release. “The court once again ruled that school’s obligation to create an environment that is safe and welcoming for all students includes transgender students.” The74

To Better Support the Nation’s Transgender and Nonbinary Students, Nonbinary Educators Must Have a Seat at the Policy Table “As a nonbinary teacher who came out in my 30s, I paralleled this process, but from a far different perspective. When parents or teachers misgendered me, I had the ability and authority to correct them. When I noticed that an area of the school did not have a unisex bathroom (many nonbinary individuals prefer unisex bathrooms), I had the ability and authority to speak with the administration. When I felt it was time for my name to more accurately represent who I am, I had the ability to make that change and to ensure that my email address, school accounts and school ID were updated along with it.” The74

California Bilingual Programs Ready to Grow After Slowing During Pandemic “Under the California Department of Education’s Global California 2030 Initiative, the state now has a goal of enrolling half of all K-12 students in “programs that lead to proficiency in two or more languages” by 2030. The initiative aims to have 3 out of 4 students proficient in two or more languages by 2040. Studies have shown that dual immersion programs, which teach children both English and another language simultaneously, can improve long-term academic achievement for both English learners and native English speakers.” EdSource


Plant the Seed. Inspire Through Eco-Art Competition 2022. Calling All Artists ages 5-22. Use your creativity to help sustain our world! Online Submission Dates: May 26, 2021 – Jan. 24, 2022″ EarthX

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices “This year’s Dismantling White Supremacy Culture in Schools (DWSC) Conference focused on how teachers can work towards antiracist practices to bring about policy changes and create positive outcomes for students.” KQED


Department of Education Announces Actions to Advance Equity in Education “Today, building on the American Rescue Plan’s historic funding for schools as drivers of equity and opportunity, the Department of Education announced a series of actions it is taking to advance equity in education and ensure schools across the nation are serving all students.” U.S. Department of Education 

A Teacher’s View: How the Murder of George Floyd Inspired a New Curriculum in My School That Is Changing How Students See Themselves “It’s the ultimate responsibility of our public education system to prepare students to be engaged and informed citizens. Our democracy literally depends on it. For that reason, understanding modern society through the context of history should be a critical part of every student’s education.” The74

It’s Time for Free Community College: Here Are 5 Reasons Why “Here are five goals political and education leaders have championed for years that could be accomplished with the right legislation.” The74


L.A. Unified Board Approves Record $20-billion Budget for Pandemic Education Recovery “The Los Angeles Board of Education late Tuesday approved a record $20-billion budget for the upcoming academic year — a massive influx of funding made possible by two unprecedented occurrences: pandemic relief money and record state tax revenues.” LA Times

Ed Dept Defines Maintenance of Equity Requirement for ARP Funds “The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday released highly anticipated guidance on maintenance of equity requirements under the American Rescue Plan, the first of the three COVID-19 relief packages to formally prioritize it in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding.” K12Dive

‘The Supreme Court Sided With Students’: High Court Affirms Off-Campus Speech Rights While Balancing School Efforts to Combat Cyberbullying “A Pennsylvania school district violated a high school cheerleader’s First Amendment rights when officials punished her for a profane, off-campus social media post, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a high-profile case that could affect how schools across the country discipline students for their online behaviors.” The74

Supreme Court Rules Against NCAA, Affirming Educational Benefits for Student-Athletes “The decision in NCAA v. Alston does not permit student-athletes to be paid a salary, but rather it allows colleges to recruit prospects by offering them more benefits linked to their education. This means an institution could try to woo student-athletes by promising to pay for such expenses as a computer or the cost of a study abroad program, which was previously not allowed.” Higher Ed Dive

Thanks for reading our arts education RECAP for July 2021. View all our past RECAPS here.

Gaby PalmadessaJuly 2021 | Arts Ed RECAP