Why Are Schools Getting Rid Of The Arts?

Why Are Schools Getting Rid Of The Arts?

It's not just a perception—many school districts are reducing visual and performing arts classes due to budget constraints. Despite the acknowledged importance of these programs for brain development, financial challenges force tough decisions. 

Let’s explore the reasons behind this decline, discuss its impact on students, and offer insights for parents navigating these changes in educational priorities. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for preserving the vital role of arts in a well-rounded education.


What Happened?

The No Child Left Behind Act  (NCLB), passed in 2002 under President George W. Bush, aimed to tackle educational disparities and enhance accountability in the U.S. education system. It mandated states to establish challenging academic standards and adopt standardized testing to assess student proficiency.

The No Child Left Behind Act prioritized academic subjects, tying higher test scores to increased funding. This emphasis on standardized test-aligned subjects, like the Common Core Standards Act focusing on college preparatory topics, often reduces funding for classes deemed less supportive of test goals. Despite the proven benefits of visual and performing arts on academic abilities, arts programs face budget cuts. 

The importance of arts education, particularly in disadvantaged areas, cannot be overstated, as it plays a crucial role in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and overall academic success. Addressing these disparities and advocating for the essential role of the arts in education are vital steps toward ensuring a more equitable and enriching learning experience for all students.

The Impact on Students

The decrease in arts funding, shifted towards math, science, and language arts, reflects a change in national educational priorities. This shift significantly affects students, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, as it denies them a vital outlet for promoting creativity, critical thinking, and comprehensive academic success. 

The impact goes beyond the classroom, influencing students' development and potential. To rectify these imbalances, it is imperative to advocate for the vital role of the arts in education and direct efforts towards creating a more equitable and enriching learning experience for all students, irrespective of their socio-economic background.

Fighting for the Arts

School arts programs contribute to improved academic performance, enhancing grades and basic skills test results. Exposure to the arts is linked to better college and job prospects, as evidenced by Public School Review

Students engaged in singing or playing instruments also demonstrate higher reading, cognition, and verbal SAT scores. Visual arts programs ignite lifelong passions and pave the way for careers in graphic design, architecture, and animation. 

Visual arts programs offer valuable developmental benefits for students with diverse interests in robotics, coding, or sports, contributing to overall success in school. Beyond academic advantages, arts education fosters social and emotional growth, prompting communities to advocate against cuts to arts programs across all school levels.

The Art for Life’s Sake: The Case for Arts Education presents compelling evidence supporting the benefits of arts education. It highlights positive outcomes such as enhanced social and emotional development, increased school engagement, and heightened civic and social participation. 

In this report, the Commission on the Arts issued recommendations for elected leaders to embrace.

These recommendations play a crucial role in reshaping arts education. Using a comprehensive approach, they aim to establish an educational environment that is more inclusive, enriched, and accessible. This recognizes and embraces the diverse benefits of arts education for students nationwide.

What Can You Do?

The decreasing emphasis on arts in schools emphasizes the need to advocate for arts education. As we acknowledge the diverse benefits of arts education in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and overall development, there is an urgent call for collective action. 

To champion the cause of arts in education, consider enrolling your child in Brains & Motion Education Arts programs. By doing so, you contribute to their academic success and provide them with a vibrant and enriching learning experience. 

Let's work together to ensure that the arts remain integral to every child's education, shaping well-rounded and successful individuals.

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