It's not local news, but the Obama administration has developed a strategy to use arts education to address some of the most challenging schools in the States. Celebrities are helping out by "adopting" one of these schools each. Some of the celebrities involved are: Chuck Close, Forest Whitaker, Yo Yo Ma and Sarah Jessica Parker.
This article covers the story. One of the principals involved believes that: "his school can prove that arts are an "accelerator" for improvements in reading, math and other subjects. He states: "we have to give kids' brains an opportunity to synthesize these things we're teaching them at a deep level. That happens best when arts are present in the school. "
It will be interesting to see the results of these programs, putting the arts to the test in the most challenging situations. Here is the site for the program: http://turnaroundarts.pcah.gov/.