After reading a good deal about the Reagan administration’s proposed arts policy, I was a bit shaken to discover a strikingly Reagan-like art education policy espoused in the front pages of the July, 1981 issue of Art Education. Was it possible that the nationwide rise of political and cultural conservatism was finding its way into the ranks of our own profession? Over the years, I had come to know art educators as persons of generally liberal persuasion, but here was philosophy and rhetoric to match the best of the Reagan arts advisors. The article causing my surprise was "Elitism Versus Populism: A Question of Quality." The writer was Ralph A. Smith, Executive Secretary of the Council for Policy Studies in Art Education, a group which seeks to promulgate and assess policy for the profession.
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