Artsblog: Quality Arts Education for Every American Student

03/22/2016
Original Source URL: 
http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2016/03/22/quality-arts-education-for-every-american-student

The arts are on an upward trajectory in many places across the United States. This positive path includes states’ adoption of new arts education standards influenced by the National Core Arts Standards model released in 2014 and the flourishing STEAM movement which has STEM proponents and funders acknowledging the natural—dare we say essential—place the arts have in fostering the skills today’s students need to become tomorrow’s innovators. And, federal funding for the arts is more secure than in recent years.

These were some of the takeaways from the recent State Policy Symposium, States of Change which was produced through a partnership with the Arts Education Partnership, Americans for the Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Education Commission of the States.

Working in Chicago, with the third largest school district in the country, I was particularly motivated by keynote speaker Dr. Monique Chism of the U.S. Department of Education. In her role as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Chism oversees Title I funding. She spoke of her personal experiences with the arts stemming back to her days as a student at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. Not only does she recognize that the arts have a place in Title I, Chism believes that access to the arts for all students is absolutely an equity issue, and is inexorably tied to our freedoms defined by the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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