Mary Plummer Education Reporter

Mary Plummer
Contact Mary Plummer

Mary Plummer is a reporter on SCPR's education team, covering arts education. Before joining the beat she was an associate producer for Take Two and The Madeleine Brand Show.

Plummer began her career in broadcast at ABC News in London, where she worked on TV stories for the network’s news lineup and regularly covered Europe for

Plummer has a master's degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she won the Richard T. Baker Award for multimedia reporting. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Chapman University and was the editor in chief of her campus newspaper. Her work has been published by the Washington Post, The New York Times, PBS/THIRTEEN and the Yomiuri Shimbun. Plummer grew up in Anchorage, Alaska.

Stories by Mary Plummer

Long Beach elementary parents pay for extra music education

The PTA gives $20,000 to provide additional music instruction for kids at Longfellow Elementary School . The money was raised in a jog-a-thon.

Effort emerging to bring arts back to California prisons

California state senator Ted Lieu is among a group of lawmakers and arts advocates hoping to resurrect arts education programming at California prisons.

Harvard president and Wynton Marsalis advocate for arts education

In an opinion piece for USA Today, Drew Faust and Wynton Marsalis called for an increase of arts education. They cited statistics showing that arts ed has declined.

UC System's ban on smoking and e-cigarettes begins

Former University of California President Mark Yudof first announced the move to ban smoking in January 2012. It goes into effect on Wednesday.

The best arts education books of the year

A roundup of arts education books from 2013: parent guides, books with craft suggestions and other titles that will help inspire anyone interested in the field.

6 months later, LA schools' arts plan still has no budget

LAUSD's new arts plan was released to the public in July, with no funding. Now, a school board member is calling for a report on the plan's budget at a school board meeting in January.

SoCal Catholics embrace new era as Pope offers first Christmas wish

The new pontiff was on Catholics minds as they attended mass Christmas morning and parishoners are hoping for more changes from Pope Francis.

Competitive Caroling: Only top students make the cut at Burbank high school

For about 30 years, holiday caroling has been a yearly tradition at John Burroughs High School in Burbank. The performances can earn the school $3,000 to $4,000 per year.

Farmers Insurance unveils new program to thank, fund teachers

Teachers are eligible for up to $2,500 in funding. Actor Jack Black and his former drama teacher launched the national program Monday in West Hollywood.

Join arts students and get into the spirit of the holiday season

Not quite festive yet? Check out our list of student holiday concerts and productions throughout Southern California, many of which support arts education in schools.

Legendary Palisades high English teacher and donor dies

One of the oldest teachers in the nation died Monday. Rose Gilbert spent more than 50 years teaching at Palisades Charter High School. She was 95.

California groups get $4 million in NEA grant funding

The federal arts agency awarded 167 grants to California groups on Wednesday - 11 of them focused on arts education, which got a $392,000 boost.

Anaheim schools to try Kickstarter for musical instruments

City school district hasn't had instrumental music classes for its 19,000 k-sixth graders. School leaders are trying to give students an orchestra.

Students get first glimpse at apartheid with Mandela's death

History teachers tore up lesson plans Friday to teach a special lesson on the South African leader to kids who weren't even born when Mandela was elected president.

LA Unified board member Marguerite LaMotte dies

LaMotte was perhaps the strongest ally for teachers on the school board - and a vocal critic of the superintendent. The cause of death was not immediately known.