LAUSD Hires Executive Director for Arts Education to Start July 1

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 9:13am

PianoThe Los Angeles Unified School District announced yesterday it would hire Rory Pullens to serve as the executive director of the district’s arts education program.  Mr. Pullens has previously served as the principal of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC.  His appointment is set to take effect July 1.

Mr. Pullens’s position “directs and leads the district’s arts education program to ensure increased arts education opportunities and integrated arts instruction for the district’s diverse student population,” according to the job description crafted by LAUSD’s Human Resources Division.

LAUSD was for may years a leader in the field of arts education, with the roots of its music education program tracing back more than 125 years.  Catastrophic budget cuts triggered by the recession of 2008 forced the district to scale back many programs and services, including arts education.  In 2012, the district proposed elimination of its elementary arts program in its entirety, a move stopped by a strong public outcry.  By the end of 2012, though, the district completely changed course on the issue when the board of education unanimously approved the “Arts at the Core” resolution.  Authored by then-board member Nury Martinez, the resolution established priorities for extensive reforms to LAUSD’s arts education program, with the ultimate goal of ensuring every student in the district has access to a quality, sequential arts education program.

In a written statement obtained by KPCC, Superintendent Dr. John Deasy wrote, "Rory’s appointment furthers the commitment of the LAUSD to provide a world-class arts education to all of our students. He brings an extraordinary background in the arts along with a string of astounding successes in his previous posts."

Read coverage of this story at the LA Times and KPCC.

Photo credit: Play Me, I'm Yours by waltarrrrr, on Flickr