Petition to Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees, Liliana Carrillo
Please reinstate Ms. Harvey's teaching position.
On April 16, 2017, Cypress High School’s choral program learned that their new director, Ms. Melanie Harvey, was to be laid off due to budget cuts proceeding the end of the 2016-2017 school year. The district has ensured that the choral program will remain intact, but our director, Ms. Harvey, has lost her job. Ms. Harvey is the greatest thing that has happened to this program in a long time and we students believe that with the support of our community, the AUHSD Board of Trustees will hopefully acknowledge Ms. Harvey’s impact on our lives and education, and how essential she is to the program. With your participation in this petition, you are contributing to the fight to keep strong arts programs in the education system. We must emphasize the importance of music education and the fine arts as it is generally overlooked. Every signature helps us let our voice be heard. Thank you for your time and support for students, the arts, and a dedicated teacher. Thank you for using your voice to help a teacher that has allowed her students to find theirs. BACKGROUND Ms. Harvey is a first-year teacher at Cypress High School, and was vulnerable to the budget cuts due to her low seniority, but has grown the choral program to new heights. Ms. Harvey is the hardest working and most influential person we have ever had the honor to have as an instructor. Her impact on the Cypress choral program includes, but is not limited to: The number of students signed up for the upcoming school year (2017-18) has doubled in comparison to the current school year (2016-17). Ms. Harvey combines show choir and concert choir into the curriculum, giving students a strong background to classical music education, and a show choir (singing and dancing) experience. She is also dedicated to making sure students are proficient in music theory. Ms. Harvey offered to teach a separate music class to the Special Education students at Cypress High School, but since she has been terminated that class is no longer for sure being taught. Whoever replaces her has the decision to take it or not, and it is a difficult class to teach for some teachers. Ms. Harvey was actually excited and eager to teach and give this opportunity to the Special Education students. Ms. Harvey organized and directed four choir shows the past school year, as well as taking the advanced group, High Voltage, to four show choir competitions, and to one choral festival along with the beginning level group, Shockwaves. Ms. Harvey organizes after school and weekend rehearsals, taking time out of her own personal life for the students. Ms. Harvey teaches not only music, but life lessons and morals. She teaches integrity, teamwork skills, and confidence. The budget cuts by the State of California left Cypress High School without an on campus drama/theatre class, and threatened the existence of the dance program. They also completely cut the floral program. Students feel as if their arts programs are slowly diminishing. (As shown through the hashtag #savechsarts on Instagram) The arts is a calling to many students who are passionate about what they create. It is something that they can rely on for stability and communal support every single day when they walk into a choir, drama, or dance classroom. Cypress has had a different choir director every single year for the past three years. This has hindered the choral program from growing and stabilizing. If the teaching position is changed once again for the 2017-2018 school year, the program will repeat the cycle of having to reform and rebuild. Ms. Harvey was hired from outside of the district specifically for our class because there was no one else qualified for the position she took. If she leaves, then who will teach us? This causes emotional stress on the students, but also puts Ms. Harvey out of work. Every student deserves a strong music education. Ms. Harvey has provided Cypress High School with that, and could continue to impact more students’ lives with your support.
Petition to Carmen Farina, Fred Walsh, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bill DiBlasio
Bring Fame Back to the "Fame" School!
What if Jennifer Aniston, Adrian Grenier, or Robert DeNiro didn't have the chance to study drama at a high school for the arts? What if Ben Vereen or Desmond Richardson weren’t able to study dance; or Nicki Minaj and Pinchas Zuckerman, music; or Milton Glaser, art? The world would be a poorer place without their enormous contributions. Fortunately, they went to the best high school in the country for artistically gifted students - Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC. Unfortunately, the next generation of talented artists may not have the same opportunity to develop their skills. Since the 2013 arrival of principal Dr. Lisa Mars, LaGuardia's admission process has been radically altered in favor of academic scores and attendance records. With these new admission criteria, talent counts for only 14% of the admission decision.* As a result, hundreds of qualified and gifted students have been denied admission. This change not only defies the 80-year-old mission of the Fame school, it also violates the Hecht-Calandra Act of 1971, which gives specialized high schools the unique power to choose their students based on a specific set of criteria. We demand that the Department of Education return the admission criteria to those consistent with the law and the original mission of the school. The Facts The Hecht-Calandra law provides that candidates for a specialized arts high school be required to “pass competitive examinations in music and/or the arts in addition to presenting evidence of satisfactory achievement.” However, since 2013, applicants who do not have at least a grade of 80 in every core academic subject are rejected, regardless of their audition score. So a student can receive a perfect 100 on their audition but be rejected because of a 79 they got in junior high school math. According to the 2015/16 Department of Education School Survey: - only 25% of LaGuardia's teachers say they trust the principal - only 28% of teachers say the principal communicates a clear vision for the school - only 32% of teachers say the principal understands how students learn - 73% of teachers feel disrespected by the principal According to the DOE’s framework for successful schools (which includes 6 categories) LaGuardia continues to decline in areas relating to leadership. In the most recent DOE School Dashboard, Dr. Mars received a stunning 1.76 for Trust and 1.2 for Effective Leadership (the scale is 1.00 - 4.99). LaGuardia is not meeting target in any of the 6 categories! Since the arrival of Dr. Mars, there has been an unprecedented exodus of teachers and staff. This year alone nearly 18% have left. Dr. Mars, who has had little experience in educating artistically talented students, has hired questionable replacements – for example, she replaced the Assistant Principal of Art with a middle school English teacher. The DOE and UFT are both aware of these issues, but have chosen to ignore them. The esteemed legacy of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts must continue. By our signatures below, we demand a return to admission requirements consistent with the Hecht-Calandra law and effective leadership for the school. * This percentage was for the 2013/14 school year, provided by a Freedom of Information Law request. Requests for subsequent years’ admission statistics have gone unanswered.
Petition to One91 School Board
Please support the growth of the One91 Strings Program
Please support our cause to build the One91 Strings Program with equity and vision by expanding the Strings Program to include all 5th grade students and provide unique, enriching educational opportunities for students at every stage of the Performing Arts Pathway. The One91 Orchestra Program is currently in its eighth year, serving over 200 students in grades 5-12. However, strings is only offered to 5th grade students in 2 out of 10 Elementary Schools. In order to sustain and strengthen the program, Strings needs to be available to all students in 5th grade throughout One91. The Strings Program is an essential part of our community which enhances the lives of our students and of all its community members. With your support, we can show that our district strings program is an integral and valued part of our community. It is one of very few string programs south of Twin Cities and unique in that students may start strings in Elementary School. One91’s orchestra program was featured in Kare 11’s "Cool in School." According to Kim Insley, Anchor/Reporter for Kare 11, “it is unusual to find that kind of commitment in elementary school, if you can even find one.” Notably, this program began during the great recession and is growing. If a program can thrive during a great recession, imagine the possibilities in times of abundance. Together, we hope to achieve a shared vision of One91 as the leading and preferred source of learning and education for its students and adult learners. Your support of the One91 String Program reinforces the belief in this shared vision. Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, -- Students, families, educators and community members of One91
Petition to North carolina, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Durham Public Schools Board of Education, Durham County Commissioners Office
The Arts and Education
As a student at Durham School of the Arts (DSA), I have been continuously enriched by the joys and important lessons that the arts can bring. However, a new budget cut for the 2017-2018 school year that would affect the entirety of Durham Public Schools is proposing a loss of 24 teachers; DSA would be losing three of them. It is becoming clear that at least one of these teachers will be a teacher from an arts concentration (chorus, band, visual, film, theatre, writing, piano, etc.). As much as it seems like this would be the easiest cut to make, it is not as simple as it seems. Many students, including myself, have had their lives changed for the better by the arts; my peers and I have personal stories that show just how positive of an impact being a part of an arts program has had on our lives. Through the arts, students are able to learn self-discipline, communication skills, confidence, maturity, not to mention the scientifically proven cognitive and biological development of the brain that can be strongly assisted and positively affected by an exposure to the arts. These are all skills that are extremely valuable in all aspects of life. The arts give people, especially students and teachers, a place to go and be able to safely explore and experience the people that they truly are and want to be, as well as to just belong. This petition would mean letting the North Carolina Board of Education know that Durham Public Schools and the Durham community of students and parents care about the arts and that a budget cut like this would mean hugely negative impacts on the lives of countless numbers of students, and potentially allow the Board to ask for better funding. It is important to note that we are standing with the Durham Public Schools Board of Education in recommending that such a budget that would result in the loss of some the most influential people and programs within this community not be approved. The signatures below are all from students, parents, and teachers who believe that the proposed budget cut on our arts pathways would negatively impact their school environment and hurt their education. We firmly believe and will assist in finding new ways to bring in funds if possible. Embedded is a video of Durham School of the Arts' entire high school choral department in 2014 (nearly 400 students!) showing the capabilities that the arts can have to move people. However, this is just one of the many arts programs that have an influence on the lives of others; the amount of emotion, be it tears or laughter, that has been expressed through theatre productions, spoken word performances, film, dance recitals, and everything in between has moved innumerable amounts of people. The arts are an integral part of this diverse and beautiful community that needs to be preserved, but this can only be done with the help of everyone within this community.
Petition to Students for Community at Hunter College, Hunter College Administration
PETITION FOR COMMUNAL SPACE FOR HUNTER COLLEGE STUDENTS
A place to assemble and present ideas is the beating heart of a community. The space currently occupied by The Canvas by Querencia Studio can be such a space for Hunter College students, and so much more. It is the face of Hunter, adjacent to the entrance at Lexington Avenue and 68th Street. Recent successful exhibits in the space include The Alternative Photography show in January and the Pop-Up Art Show in February. The former attracted over 500 attendants, including neighboring art gallery owners who were interested to see the Hunter students' work. Before these exhibitions, there has been little to no opportunity for students to showcase their art work. Organizers of these shows have received interest not only from Hunter College's varying visual artists, but our musicians, dance and theater students, as well as the chess club. There are bountiful communities in Hunter who would love to be able to use a space to showcase their amazing accomplishments. Sponsoring student programming can benefit not only the 68th street campus, but also our neighborhood, our community and the public at large. The Canvas by Querencia Studio have been our great benefactors of the arts and we must act to ensure the space continues to provide the same value to students. Hunter needs to encourage more partnership like the one formed with The Canvas by Querencia Studio. If we can enter a dialogue with Hunter about how other spaces are allocated we can do more to ensure the vital energy of our school's creatives has a proper outlet for communities to grow. The undersigned are petitioning the Hunter College Administration consider the future of the space with Hunter's robust creative and educational communities in mind. We also ask a dialogue begins regarding the engagement of the student body in building new student resource strategies for the future. Signed, Michael Rowan, Tara Ohanian, Isabelle Fernandez, Sabrina Persaud, Matthew Tibo and Theresa Vu
Petition to Bensalem Township School Board, Rachel Fingles, Kim Rivera, Heather Nicholas, Marc Cohen, Stephanie Ferrandez, Kathleen Lesnevec, Anand Patel, Pamela Strange, Vanessa Woods
Keep Arts Charter Out of Bensalem
The Arts Charter is not needed in Bensalem Township, or Lower Bucks County, PA. We, the undersigned parents and guardians of students, together with teachers and other community stakeholders of Bucks County School Districts petition the Bensalem School Board Directors to reject the application for Charter from TLC Arts Schools, LLC or any other corporation that may apply with the same intent. The aforementioned community members petition the Board to reject the above charter application on the following grounds: Public schools in Bucks County already offer the following programs for academic credit: Creative Writing, Journalism, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theatre, Vocal Music, Visual and Graphic Art. The students who have graduated from these programs have gone on to successful careers—on Broadway, on International News Stations in a top 4 market—as playwrights, and as authors and musicians who have received awards for their outstanding work in their fields (including a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy). They have also gone on to successful political careers, professorships, entrepreneurial endeavors, and countless other professions which continue to shape the next generation and positively impact our global community. This short list is not all encompassing and does not even begin to scratch the surface of the thousands of success stories that have been born out of these programs in our public schools.The “majors” offered by the proposed charter are duplicative of the well-established programs that have existed for generations, and which continually evolve to embrace new technology and trends. Put simply, this charter school is utterly unnecessary. If the proposed charter enrolls 400 students then it would, at a minimum, drain $6,000,000 from the taxpayers of Bucks County (this number does NOT consider any special education costs which would more than double the cost of any student who attends the school). Charter schools are paid approximately $35,000 per student with special needs, regardless of the actual cost to educate that individual student. Any student who requires special education can get those accommodations at the public schools in the arts programs they desire. In fact, students who attend a public with an IEP MUST have their needs met, while a charter school may not be equipped or inclined to do so. As a charter school, the teaching staff is not held to the same certification standards as our public school teachers; they do not need to be highly qualified, or even certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When charter school teachers are contracted on a year-to-year basis, those teachers have no job security. As a result, there will always be an air of instability for students, teachers, and parents. Continuity of programming will depend on whether or not teachers are offered a better job in any of the surrounding public school districts. Like many others, this charter school claims to be “non-profit.” However, inadequate oversight and a lax law have allowed some charter school operators to defraud taxpayers. Charter management organizations are permitted to spend unlimited taxpayer dollars on expenses that are unrelated to educating children including political lobbying, 7-figure CEO salaries, and advertising. Thomas S. Lubben, the man who is leading the charge to open this charter school, appears to have no allegiance to quality education or the arts. Instead, he seems intent on making money on the backs of taxpayers. In 2000, he left his job as Executive Director for Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts BEFORE it even opened for a more lucrative position with for-profit charter management organization, Mosaica Education. Mosaica Education was responsible for opening the first charter school in Bensalem, Mosaica Academy Charter School. In 2001 Mosaica Academy chose to sever ties with Mosaica Education due to poor management, and the school was reopened under its current name, School Lane Charter School. More recently, Mr. Lubben’s last four petitions to open Charter Schools were REJECTED.We don’t want to give Mr. Lubben the chance to make his next fortune on the backs of Bucks County residents at the EXPENSE of our children in public school. We, the undersigned, respectfully request and DEMAND that the Bensalem School Directors hereby REJECT the application of TLC Arts Schools, LLC. They are not welcome and not needed in our communities.
Petition to Kayne
BRING BACK AP ART CLASSES AT MIHS!!
Bring back the AP art classes at MIHS! Admin has cancelled them ALL for next year. Sign the petition and share it to support AP arts. There has been a major change to the art curriculum at MIHS. All AP art classes have been cancelled. If you care about art, or you want the classes to be available to others, please take a minute to sign the petition. Thanks ! <3 *UPDATE: Puckett has agreed to "Stack" AP and regular classes. Lets keep showing our support for the arts!
Petition to Julia Jasken, Academic Planning Committee
The Future of the Theatre Department
UPDATE FROM PROVOST: "I am not given the authority to offer any tenure track appointments until the early fall, so no department, regardless of the pressure that is exerted, can be hearing definitively that they will receive one of those positions. I will, however, assure you once again that you have made a good case for what you believe the department needs. The Theatre program is very valuable, both to our students and to the College. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide to you." Ira Domser, the main technical professor for the McDaniel Theatre Department is retiring. We need a replacement because we do not have a professor to teach technical theatre classes, including ones required to complete the Theatre Arts major. The Academic Planning Committee's current plan to replace Ira is to have two part-time positions fulfill the needs next year. However, the Academic Planning Committee wants to replace Ira's position with two part-time positions PERMANENTLY. This is not a sustainable solution and we are working to share our concerns with the Provost about this. Concerns include (but are not limited to): Part time instructors would be only required to work 13 hours a week outside of the classroom; not enough time to produce a department performance. Tech week takes 12 hours per day, so they would not be able to attend tech week for more than one day. There is a high turnover rate among part time professors, so hiring two part time instructors in permanent positions does not guarantee consistency, and there may end up being new instructors coming in every year, needing to be retrained about the specifics of our department. McDaniel College prides itself in teacher student relationships. Without consistency it is difficult for students to form meaningful relationships. This is essentially depriving students from one of the fundamental principles of this institution. Tech focused students would have not have academic advisers with familiarity in their focus, and no one to serve as a mentor. Elizabeth van den Burg will be the only full time professor in the theatre department. What will happen when she retires? Elizabeth and Gene' Fouche would be the only two advisers for a department with over 30 majors, and would have a lot of strain from this