No one can dispute the role and importance of the arts in human life. Lester Monts, chair of the College Board’s Board of Trustees and a professor of music, wants to ensure that all students are exposed to this important element of our culture as early as possible. A strong understanding of the arts is vital to increasing creativity and innovation strategies and processes. Monts believes that the U.S. education system should promote the arts from preschool through college and make every effort to integrate the arts with other disciplines. As a result, in May 2007, the Academic Assembly Council established the College Board National Task Force for the
Arts in Education.
The purpose of the task force will be “to advise the Board in developing and articulating a vision for arts education in the United States, with the hope that the Board will use its considerable resources and influence to promote and inspire artistic creativity and innovation and to achieve and sustain an integrative vision for arts in education.”
“As it has with many other initiatives, the College Board has the opportunity to once again take a leadership role in curriculum and teacher development in the arts,” said Monts. “We’d like to see the College Board launch a national discussion about the role of the arts in education and the meaning of citizenship.”
Further, the advocacy arm of the College Board can help to expand exposure and participation in the arts for students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to participate, while fostering in all students a lifelong love of the arts. The membership can be motivated to promote the arts at their institutions, while the College Board initiates this important conversation with other educational organizations.
A steering committee has been formed that includes Monts and nine others. Led by the Task Force Chair Leonard Lehrer, the committee held an ad hoc meeting last September and again last month to sow the seeds of the newly established National Task Force for the Arts in Education.
Members of the steering committee for the College Board National Task Force for the Arts in Education include: Lester Monts, chair, Board of Trustees, the College Board and senior vice provost for academic affairs and professor of music at the University of Michigan; Leonard Lehrer, chair, College Board National Task Force on the Arts in Education; chair, College Board Arts Academic Advisory Committee and dean, School of Fine and Performing Arts, Columbia College (Chicago); Robert Blackey, professor of history, California State University, San Bernardino; JoBeth Gonzalez, teacher, Bowling Green (Ohio) High School; MacArthur Goodwin, member, College Board Arts Academic Advisory Committee and consultant in the arts; Robert Lazuka, member, College Board Arts Academic Advisory Committee and professor, School of Art, Ohio University; Pamela Paulson, member, College Board Arts Academic Advisory Committee and senior director of policy, Perpich Center for Arts Education (Golden Valley, Minn.); Bernard Young, professor of art education, Arizona State University’s Herberger College School of Art; Dorothy Sexton, vice president of governance and secretary, corporate, the College Board; and Nancy Rubino, director, Office of Academic Initiatives, College Readiness Product Development, the College Board. The committee also recognizes the valuable assistance of Ione Lloyd, program associate, Office of Academic Initiatives, College Readiness Product Development, the College Board.
Currently nominations are being reviewed for the 40 to 45 members who will constitute the task force. Members will be announced later this summer and will meet for the first time early next October. The next Steering Committee meeting will be held June 1-2 in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the committee will finalize the October event and the invitations to members of the National Task Force.