H. Ernie Nishii
City: ABC Unified
Position Seeking: Board Member Trustee Area 3
Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.
My mom is an artist. I lived art daily. I even had tie died underwear. Art gets to your soul. When the rational doesn’t sink in art passes through our conscious mind to our essence. My mom’s art depicting the incarceration of thousands of innocent Americans of Japanese descent hits us in the primal part of our brain. That is,the most effective way to prevent it from happening again in a country that guarantees freedoms.
Question 2: How can arts education support student outcomes such as English language development, reducing the achievement gap, and preparing youth for college and/or meaningful careers?
Jobs was an Artist. Einstein was an Artist. The future lies with artists and the free concepts of expression. Not necessarily the programmer. If you love to express yourself you will do it through art and through writing. They are not mutually exclusive and come from the same part of the brain. If you love school you will do better. Art helps you express yourself and therefore if you associate school with art and expression you will do better.
Question 3: What do you think the role of the School Board should be in ensuring that students have continued access to a broad range of study subjects, including the arts (broadly defined)?
The board can encourage art through scheduling and through enabling world class artists in our classrooms. We did that at Leal. We got world class Korean dance instructor to teach our kids. We did an rfp to get a great artist to do a project with kids. We used Paul Soldner techniques for elementary kids. We don’t dumb down. We elevate.
Question 4: In light of the Local Control Funding Formula and development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), what are your creative solutions for achieving goals in the eight priority areas?
Parents. We were able to fundraise 100k per year to get extra arts instruction. We got parents to pay the teachers for tutoring and the profits after paying the teacher were used for the kids.