the cover of the October 2021 ASBJ Issue. Female students practice a dance


From the Editor: Sweeney Todd and Me
ASBJ Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Vail shares a personal story that underscores the essential role of arts in schools—the theme of the 2021 October issue of American School Board Journal.

Leadership Matters: Promoting Arts Education
NSBA interim Executive Director and CEO Chip Slaven discusses the importance of arts education, highlighting how it can promote work-life balance while also improving academic outcomes.

President’s Perspective: Reimagined Opportunities
NSBA President Dr. Viola M. Garcia reflects on the agility, flexibility, and responsiveness demonstrated by school board members and other education leaders during the last 18 months and looks forward to new ways of teaching and learning.



Anything Is Possible
Aldine Independent School District's Carver High School offers award-winning programs in visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, dance, and theatre, giving its students—many of whom live in poverty—a safe environment to discover and be themselves.

Arts Bridge the Gaps
Data backs up what Tony Plana knows to be true from his own experience growing up as an immigrant in America: arts education closes achievement gaps and promotes social-emotional development.

The Power of Music
Country Music Association CEO and CMA Foundation President Sarah Trahern interviews Trisha Yearwood about her musical journey and the impact of music education.

Curveball Strategies for Success
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has continued to enable students for college during the pandemic by offering consistency, community, and connection.



The Leading Edge
NSBA recognizes The Indiana School Boards Association and Virginia School Boards Association for their tireless work to provide an equitable and excellent public education for all students with the 2021 Leading Edge Award.

Understanding Critical Race Theory
ASBJ defines critical race theory and related terms to help school board members answer questions from the public.



Communications: Race and Equity Training
Shayla Reese Griffin, co-founder of the Justice Leaders Collaborative, discusses the importance of training educators on bias, diversity, race, and the long-term effect of poverty on generations of students.

Research: Full STEAM Ahead
NSBA Senior Research Analyst Jinghong Cai shares takeaways from the Summer Symposium of the Ohio Art Education Association for teachers seeking to integrate the arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.

School Law: Consequences and Prevention
Establishing proper policies and consequences for online communication is key to preventing inappropriate relationships between students and staff.

Equity: We Will All Be Champions
Former professional soccer player and member of the United States Women’s National Team Joanna Lohman emphasizes the importance of creating youth sporting environments that make LGBTQ students feel safe, seen, and loved.


Urban Advocate

Stimulus Money Demands Leadership, Transparency, and Accountability
CUBE Steering Committee Chair Steve Gallon emphasizes the fiduciary responsibilities school boards must abide by as they receive $130 billion from the American Rescue Plan.

Remote Education Options
As of August, 79% of large and urban districts planned to offer some form of remote option during the fall semester. ASBJ explores how several districts are reinstituting remote learning options—from temporary solutions to lasting alternatives.


Q&A: Christopher Emdin
Best-selling author and Columbia University professor Christopher Emdin discusses his new book Ratchetdemic and the need to provide students with spaces to display their academic brilliance without sacrificing their identities.



Reimagining the Future of Assessment
Recognizing the need for high-quality, well-rounded assessment systems that support student growth, development, and well-being, the National Education Association has created a task force to determine assessment strategies that examine the whole child and make recommendations for a path forward.