A very recent post on the Department of Education blog Homeroom promotes “Arts in the Schools Month.” Written by Doug Herbert, a special assistant in the Office of Innovation and Improvement, the post begins: “The arts are an important part of a well-rounded education for all students. Arts-rich schools, those with high-quality arts programs and comprehensive course offerings, benefit students in and outside of the art or dance studio, music room, or stage. “All children deserve arts-rich schools,” Secretary Duncan told an audience of arts education advocates in 2012, as he discussed the disappointing results of an ED survey that showed many students lacking adequate access to arts education.
“There’s no better time to echo the secretary’s pronouncement than in March, widely known as “Arts in the Schools Month.” Under the leadership of national associations representing teachers of dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts, a variety of activities unfold throughout the month—some that showcase the achievements of students and others that focus on the professional growth of arts educators committed to achieving the goal of arts-rich schools for all students.”
The post is divided then into such sections as “Music with a Message,” “Honoring Artistic Achievement,” and “Putting a Focus on Professional Growth.”
Under the heading, “It’s Your Turn to Get Involved,” the post then closes: “Arts-rich schools benefit everyone. Research increasingly shows that arts education heightens engagement for all students and can increase motivation and persistence for those most at risk of failing or dropping out of school. Learning in the arts also uniquely equips students with the skills in creativity and divergent thinking as well as problem-solving and teamwork that they need to be college and career ready. The Arts Education Partnership, with support from ED and the National Endowment for the Arts, has publications and a research clearinghouse, ArtsEdSearch, to help you learn more about why the arts in our schools are worth honoring for a month.
“Take advantage of Arts in Schools Month to learn more about arts education, connect with teachers of the arts to show support for their efforts, and do what you can to help achieve the goal of arts-rich schools for all students.”
Long a promoter of arts education, I have for years coordinated the arts at our campus and, in particular, the arts outreach to the K-12 schools in our service area. So I applaud the focus of this blog post.
But, if you have been reading my posts to this blog with any regularity, you know that I seldom stop simply to applaud something. There is almost always a “but,” especially if the post has something to do with the Department of Education. Continue reading