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Art Education Advocates Praise ESSA’s Well-Rounded Definition of Education

Art Education Advocates Praise ESSA’s Well-Rounded Definition of Education

School art advocates told NPR that they are especially optimistic about how the new education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, defines art education as a crucial component of a well-rounded education.

Advocate Anna Warmbrand discusses the necessity of art in education to inspire success in even seemingly far-removed careers like business.

"For our students to be well-rounded, to go out into the business world and be successful, they need to have presentation skills. They need to have their confidence. They need to have something they're very good at that's outside of an academic traditional thought of academic nature,” Warmbrand told NPR.

This, she says, is achieved best through the student engagement that comes from a respectable arts program.

NPR's Elizabeth Blair discusses how art education is necessary for creating the parental involvement that is so important for a positive school culture.

"When’s the last time parents went to school to see their kids take a math test?"

"They go for performances,” she said.

But though the advocates are optimistic about ESSA’s treatment of the arts, they also point out that under the new accountability system, the power is transferred back to the states and they by no means need to mandate art ed.

Indeed, art is only one of the curriculum suggestions the ESSA makes.

"The new law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, has suggestions like computer science, health, foreign language and geography. So there's no guarantee the arts will now flourish,” Blair said.

That’s why art advocates are standing by, ready to help states and school districts to develop an art program that will help them best prepare their students for college and career.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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