As public and private sector leaders work to strengthen their education systems and the competitiveness of their workforce, the research makes clear that ensuring every student receives a quality arts education achieves both.
There is a myth that the purpose of arts education is to train young people for a career in the arts. While that may be the destiny for some, all students benefit when the arts are part of a well-rounded education. Students engaged in the arts perform better academically—better grades, higher standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and greater readiness for higher education. In fact, students with four years of arts and music classes in high school average nearly 100 points higher on their SAT scores than students with just one-half year or less.
As if a well-rounded education and improved academic performance were not reason enough to ensure every student receives a quality arts education, it is fast becoming a business imperative as well. For businesses to prosper in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, they require the brightest and most innovative employees. Once again, arts education contributes.
Given the importance of creativity as a tool to drive innovation and develop a top tier workforce, it is little wonder that business and political leaders alike are calling for the integration of the arts into STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). That is, adding the “A for arts” and turning STEM into STEAM. The American public has repeatedly demonstrated its understanding of the value that the arts bring to education: 91% believes the arts are part of a well-rounded education and 94% believe K-12 students should receive an education in the arts.
Read the full article about arts education and workforce by Randy Cohen at ARTS Blog.
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