Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Threse Kill
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Arts education gives students a reason to celebrate!

National Arts in Education Week was Sept. 9-15

 

October 4, 2018



As our students begin the school year it is important for us to remember the impact of education in our schools, homes and communities. For decades, research has shown that when students participate in the arts as a part of their education, they go on to succeed in school, work and life.

Designated by Congress in 2010, National Arts in Education Week begins on the second Sunday in September. It is a national celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. Perpich Center for Arts Education and arts educators throughout the state are celebrating here in Minnesota and would encourage all supporters of arts, culture, and education to join with us—as well as our elected officials and education leaders.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) supports the arts as part of every student’s "well-rounded" education. It provides flexibility for students to learn creatively and for local districts and states to create schools that embrace the arts. This is in line with Minnesota’s commitment to Academic Standards in the Arts that describe what all students must achieve K-12, standards that those of us at the Perpich Center, along with many colleagues around the state, worked hard to develop.

What we know is deceptively simple: students attend school more often when they have access to the arts. Parents and families engage more often with the schools when schools embrace the arts. Dropout rates decrease, grades increase—and the halls are filled with artwork, photography, songs, drama and dancing.

There is study after study that indicate the opportunity gap in arts education, specifically along racial and socioeconomic 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.

As we celebrate National Arts in Education Week we should take pause to cheer for our accomplishments, but we should also remember the work we have to do. How can we provide equitable opportunities for all of our young people? How can we use the new law to create arts-rich schools? How can we support parents, families and the community in providing more opportunities for engagement? It's up to us to take a stand and lead.

 

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