Is Studying the Arts in School Important?

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This twelve-minute film explores the stories of artists, educators, parents, administrators, politicians and young people. The film addresses the current state of arts in schools in CA, a brief history of Prop 13, current research on the transformative power of the arts & their vital role as an educational resource, and how community members can become empowered to work for increased access to arts education in their local schools. 

Do Now

Why is studying art in school important to you? If you don't study the arts in your school, do you think you should have the opportunity to do so? Why?#DoNowArtsEd

How to Do Now 

To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or post your response on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Flickr, Google +, etc. Just be sure to include #DoNowArtsEd in your posts.

Go here for best practices for using Do Now, using Twitter for teaching, and using other digital tools.

Learn More About the Arts and Schools

In recent decades, American schools have been pressured to increase standardized test scores, causing them to make cuts to programs like visual art, music, dance and theater. At the same time, studies have shown that involvement in the arts helps students stay in school, perform better in all academic subjects, and enjoy the school experience more. The arts are often the only subjects in which students can express creative individuality and have a platform for personal expression. In the past 30 years, access to arts education in schools has declined significantly.


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An arts education advocacy group called Arts Ed Matters recently produced a film about why arts should be at the root of every student's education. Do you agree? Take this opportunity to let the Twittersphere, the Internet, your teachers and arts education policymakers and supporters know how you feel about why studying the arts in school is important.

ARTNational Arts in Education Week happened earlier this month, and we want to keep the conversation going. Why does arts education matter to you? Does it help you understand other subjects better? Does it make school more interesting? Is it therapeutic to have a platform to express yourself?

More Resources

Education Week article Arts Education Cuts: Lack of Funding or Lack of Faith?
Cutting arts education, is often attributed to a lack of funding. Seems to me, though, that it's a lack of faith. Lack of faith in the inherent value of the arts and its role in children's overall development.

KQED Arts series Art School
Are you a teacher who needs help integrating the arts into your curricula? Check out our free video series about contemporary visual, performing and media arts.

KPCC article Teachers: LA schools' arts education budget 'a step in the wrong direction'
A plan by the Los Angeles Unified School District to cut the time elementary school children are taught orchestra in half is angering teachers - many of whom learned about it only after KPCC reported on the arts budget, which was released unexpectedly at a committee meeting in February.

Alameda County Office of Education resource Art Is Education website
The mission of the Alameda County Office of Education’s Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership is to establish arts learning at the core of the highest quality public education, across the curriculum, for every child, in every school, every day.