SIMON ESTES SINGS PRAISES OF FINE ARTS EDUCATION

Rod Boshart
Published: January 29 2014 | 1:05 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:50 am in
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Simon Estes, native Iowan and internationally recognized opera singer, sang "God Bless America" before both the House and Senate at the start of the legislative day in both chambers Wednesday. Estes, of Centerville, spent Wednesday talking to House and Senate leaders, and spoke to education committees advocating for fine arts to be included in the Iowa core curriculum, a set of education standards for math, English and the language arts. The singer apologized to lawmakers for his "terrible, terrible cold" before performing but promised he'd be back to sing at the Capitol again.

Also Wednesday, a three-member Senate subcommittee approved a bill requiring that music, visual art, drama and theater, and other fine and applied arts to included in the core curriculum and 21st century learning skills now part of the state standards overseen by the state Department of Education. Leon Kuehner of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education said the legislation was the product of more than two years worth of work by his association members and would bring the core requirements “full circle” with national standards. “This is a no-brainer for somebody from my area,” said Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville. However, Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, who did not sign the subcommittee report, said “I was not impressed with the core in the first place” and he questioned whether it was appropriate to “be piling more mandates on our schools” with the arts requirement. The bill now moves to the full Senate Education Committee for consideration.

SIMON ESTES SINGS: Simon Estes, native Iowan and internationally recognized opera singer, sang "God Bless America" before both the House and Senate at the start of the legislative day in both chambers Wednesday. Estes, of Centerville, spent Wednesday talking to House and Senate leaders, and spoke to education committees advocating for fine arts to be included in the Iowa core curriculum, a set of education standards for math, English and the language arts. The singer apologized to lawmakers for his "terrible, terrible cold" before performing but promised he'd be back to sing at the Capitol again.

FINE ARTS AT THE EDUCATION CORE: A three-member Senate subcommittee on Wednesday approved a bill requiring that music, visual art, drama and theater, and other fine and applied arts to included in the core curriculum and 21st century learning skills now part of the state standards overseen by the state Department of Education. Leon Kuehner of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education said the legislation was the product of more than two years worth of work by his association members and would bring the core requirements “full circle” with national standards. “This is a no-brainer for somebody from my area,” said Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville. However, Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, who did not sign the subcommittee report, said “I was not impressed with the core in the first place” and he questioned whether it was appropriate to “be piling more mandates on our schools” with the arts requirement. The bill now moves to the full Senate Education Committee for consideration.

 

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