Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Thursday, December 17, 2015

NYC Gives $25 Million To Boost Arts Instruction

It is always fascinating to watch Carmen Farina at work, pulling a fast one on the public via her photo opps ("opportunities") and newspaper friends. Where money is concerned, there is always someone who is willing to take it for him or herself. Always.

When my youngest daughter was admitted to kindergarten at PS 6 (pictured above) in Manhattan, Carmen was the principal. At the welcoming party for new parents I introduced myself, and she told me that the Annenberg Challenge For The Arts had given $75,000 for 3 years to PS 6 and our sister school, PS 198 on 96th Street, and would I please think about how we at PS 6 could continue to fund the arts after the 3 years were up.

I went home that night thinking that this was a momentous honor, to be asked to help the principal raise funds for the arts. My mom was in the Broadway arena as a benefactor of the theater and Trustee of the Neighborhood Playhouse, so I grew up sort of "on Broadway". I also have my own company, Theater Kids, Inc. Two of my daughters were signed up to sing at the New York City Opera at the ages of 9 and 5, so I consider myself a person of and in the arts.

I designed the Arts Together Community Partnership (ATCP) and brought it to Carmen the next day, or a few days later. She loved it. I became her arts program lead parent, and I also was on the Executive Committee as the "Director" of the ATCP. My one condition was that I would not handle any money, checks, accounting, etc. Nada. Carmen said that was ok.

Carmen Farina
We worked on this project together for two years, and Carmen spent $2000 on the brochures I wrote describing the project which was distributed to the parents, staff and neighborhood. Then, on May 23 2000 after I came home from the Annenberg Conference at Riverside Church in Manhattan to which Carmen had sent me, and where I had asked "where is the money" to the PS 6 Assistant Principal (PS 198 teachers also there had told me at the Conference that they had no information about ATCP or any arts programs), Carmen called me at home and screamed for about 20 minutes vile and insulting accusations about me. I hung up on her.

I have never been given an answer to that question ("where is the money - $225,000- Carmen?").

On or about May 24, 2000 Carmen and parent (and Corporation Counsel Attorney) Jane Gordon threw away the ATCP brochures, I was told. I have 5 of them.

I wrote a report and sent it to Annenberg, and in 2003 they published the Summary findings. I suggested that there be accountability measures more clearly in place to prevent misuse of funds. Without this, the programs would continue to fail.

I wrote this in 2004:
Carmen Farina: Politics Wins With Her Appointment as Deputy Chancellor in New York City

In fact, Carmen told the parents and media back in 1999-2001 that this would "bring the arts back to NYC schools"

What did she say in her photo opp captured by Ben Chapman?

"Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa says the plan has "brought the 
arts back in a very serious way."

Strangely familiar. Follow the money, folks. Know where it is every step of the way!!!!!!

(Ben - are you doubling as Carmen's press person? Your article reads like a press release?)

Betsy Combier, Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter

NYC’s $23M plan introduces 22,000 kids to music, dance, art

Ben Chapman, NY DAILY NEWS

The city’s $23 million plan to boost arts instruction has introduced about
22,000 public school kids to subjects like music, dance and visual art since 
2014, a report released Wednesday shows.

The Education Department’s report also says the school system has added 
arts teachers to 113 middle and high schools across the city.

The Big Apple’s 1,800 public schools now employ 2,568 teachers who 
specialize in the arts, the report says — the most in a decade.

“We believe that this is fundamentally every student’s right and not just a privilege.”

The report also says 96% of city middle schools offered arts classes in 2015, 
up from 92% in 2014.

Education experts have long believed arts education has a positive influence 
on students in terms of academic achievement and future employment.