Thursday, January 3, 2013

Arts Education At Risk Again....

Back in 2010, Robert Sabol published the results of a study from a national survey he conducted in which 3412 visual art teachers responded to qualitative and quantitative questions regarding the impact the No Child Left Behind Act had on their art programs. To my knowledge, Dr. Sabol's study, gives us the clearest picture yet of the affect NCLB has had on programs devoted to the development of creativity in U.S. Schools. The results are not pretty:
  •  Respondents reported that NCLB has had negative effects on scheduling, workloads and funding for their visual art education programs.
  •  NCLB has had limited negative consequences on the areas of staffing, teaching loads and enrollments.
  • Respondents reported that NCLB’s focus on assessment has had unintended secondary consequences on student learning, including a narrowing of students’ interests in learning and
    exploring a broad range of content.
What has changed since? Race to the Top.

From my perspective, RttT emphasizes teaching to the test and the narrowing of the school curricula even further than NCLB.

Now, to complicate matters: According to a recent U.S.D.O.E. report on arts education, program funding devoted to creativity development in U.S. schools has stagnated. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan states: "... there have not been significant national declines in the availability of music and visual arts instruction in elementary and secondary schools."

 Secretary Duncan states we are not experiencing significant declines from a vital area in education that has already been marginalized? This is not good for children.

Add to this situation the state and federal funding dilemma schools face in this age of austerity and children are at a higher risk of having their fine arts learning opportunities reduced even further.

Let me just say that as schools are charged with the immense task of developing the future inhabitants of civilization, children's creative capacities are an aspect of their education that should never, ever be neglected.

If you have not communicated the importance of arts education funding in our schools, I urge you to contact your Indiana Legislators here:

Not sure who to contact? You can find Indiana and U.S. Legislators here.

Need advocacy talking points? Find them here:

Your efforts are critical for the preservation of creativity development and fine arts learning opportunities in our schools.

Best wishes....Clyde

5th Grade boys and their 12th Grade mentor collaborate on a kinetic sculpture in art class at New Palestine Elementary.

1 comment:

  1. The arts provide an important avenue where children can develop a passion for learning. Many children discover their talents and interests through the arts and are inspired to pursue careers in artistic fields.

    Arts and Education