The fight for arts education

In the recent years, as nationwide school funding has struggled to keep up with the prices of education, their has been many cuts in school district’s budgets. Where have the biggest cuts lain: in the arts.

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Because of the changing focus to standardized testing in the early 2000s, schools began to focus on the “core curriculum,” meaning that subjects like English and math were considered to be more beneficial for a student’s education, and their likelihood of passing the test. (Although the No Child Left Behind Act considers the arts to be a core subject.)

In 2014, the New York Times reported that 20 percent of public schools in New York City don’t even have an arts teacher on staff.  The year before that, the Chicago Public School system laid off approximately 105 arts teachers (ten percent of the lay-offs they made that year) on their payroll.

The diminishing of arts, especially in the public school systems across the United States, has been received to significant criticism.

Most argue that while administrators are cutting the funding of arts programs, they are forgetting the benefits of arts educations to academics. In a Washington Post article, research is presented that states students with an arts-rich academic experience are more likely to continue their education.

Just this week, the Huffington Post posted a profile on an arts institute in New York City planning on bringing dance classes to all public schools.

The National Dance Institute, the main focus of the article, has been teaching about 6,000 students different dancing techniques and choreographies. The institute and its partners hope to expand their programs and bring the arts back to schools across the nation.

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