Designated by Congress in 2010, Sunday began National Arts in Education Week.
The Every Student Succeeds Act, replacing No Child Left Behind, fully supports the arts as part of every student’s complete education. It provides flexibility for students to learn creatively and for local districts and states to create schools that embrace the arts.
What we know is simple: Students attend school more often when they have access to the arts, parents and families engage with the schools more, dropout rates decrease, grades increase and halls are filled with artwork, songs, drama and dancing.
According to an opinion poll released in March, nine out of 10 Americans believe the arts are essential to a well-rounded education. Yet, 67 percent believe there is not sufficient access to reap the benefits. Also, multiple studies indicate an opportunity gap in arts education, specifically along racial and socio-economic lines.
We must stand together to fight for equity in access and delivery of arts education to the young people in our community, our state and the nation. How can we use the new law to create arts-rich schools? How can we support parents, families and the community in order to provide more opportunities for engagement?