A Good Use for Used #2 Bubble Test Pencils!

Departing Chief State School Officer of Colorado Dwight Jones shared an interesting take on school accountability.  He shared his gallery of pencil sculptures made out of #2 pencils, which had been used on “bubble” standardized tests.  His comment was, “ We wanted to get some good out of those pencils.”

Now that’s the kind of school leadership I want to see.  I wish him well as he goes off to tackle transforming the Las Vegas/Clark County Public Schools in Nevada in December.

I ran into Jones in Denver at the fall forum of the Arts Education Partnership.  I had the privilege of working with him and his Colorado colleagues briefly during a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored Education Leadership Institute a few summers ago.  They were already on the way to thinking outside the test bubble about the role of arts education.  At the forum in Denver last week they shared their thinking about how K-12 arts education must be thought about in terms of nurturing future workers for Colorado’s creative industries—the fifth largest economic sector in that state.  Their survey of what was going on in Colorado schools supplied the underpinning for a transformation of the Colorado Arts Council to Creative Industries of Colorado.

Congratulations to the Arts Education Partnership on celebrating its 15th year of bringing together leaders and organizations involved in arts education to focus on a research agenda, share ideas, suggest public policy and advocate for the vital role of arts education for all our children. It was good to reconnect with colleagues and get inspired to keep working!

I hope we see more #2 pencil sculptures.  That’s the best use for that material.  And if you want to see some really amazing sculptures done with pencils, check out Jennifer Maestre’s Web site: #mce_temp_url#

By Hadley B., Denver Public Schools - The Pencil Tree

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