Dear future President,
There have been many budget cuts in art departments around the country in recent years, due to districts assuming the arts aren’t a crucial part of a student’s learning. Many studies have proven otherwise, but cuts continue to be made in grades K through 12 in schools around America. If I had something to say to you future President, I would talk about how we need to pay more attention to the importance of arts education in schools around the world, how it improves academic performance and learning, helps students gain self-confidence, and how it boosts students perseverance and accountability in their everyday lives and studies.
There has been ongoing research about how beneficial the arts are to students in succeeding in their academics. A report published by The Center for Arts Education investigates that arts may improve graduation rates. The Department of Education and the Missouri Alliance for Arts and Education gathered data for this report, concluding that, “arts education [has] a significant effect on the academic and social success of their students. Those with greater arts participation [are] more likely to come to class, avoid being removed and graduate. Additionally, they demonstrated greater proficiency in mathematics and communication,” (onlinecolleges.net) Art in schools also teaches a visual way of learning. This shows students that there are many ways to study, and some of these ways may be more creative than others, targeting different students that learn in other ways. Overall, students that participate in creative activities in the arts have a higher chance of doing more things in the future academically after high school.
Being a student of the arts helps students gain self-confidence tremendously, which is vital at a young age. Arts gives students a chance to step outside their comfort zone and explore new opportunities both inside and out of school. The arts gives a different, creative vibe to schools that you just don’t experience without the program, making students more able to be themselves in a space they feel comfortable in. The website learningliftoff.com epresses their opinions on art education, saying, “While mastering a subject certainly builds a student’s confidence, there is something special about participating in the arts.” Students cannot express themselves the same way through math or science. Learning in the arts takes a more personalized approach, allowing kids to really express themselves through their art form, and find themselves along the way. Art is not something that can be measured, and there is no correct answer to art. This allows students to interpret things in different ways, which can help them in logical reasoning and their studies.
Perseverance in a very vital thing to learn in the arts. Participating in the arts shows students and people in general, that not everything you do is going to be perfect. This is a good realization for students to realize early on, so they can learn from their mistakes now instead of realizing years later. Working in the arts creates self discipline in students art forms, which can transfer into the student’s core studies tasks later in life, “This mindset will certainly matter as they grow--especially during their career when they will likely be asked to continually develop new skills and work through difficult projects.” (learningliftoff.com). Accountability is another aspect that goes hand-in-hand with the arts and perseverance. In certain forms of art, we work in groups like musicals or choirs, and it is important to know when you have made or are making a mistake, and how to fix and accept that mistake, “Mistakes are a part of life, and learning to accept them, fix them, and move on will serve kids well as they grow older,” (learningliftoff.com)
In conclusion, schools need to be more aware of the importance of the arts in education systems. There are more downsides to cutting an arts program than there are benefits. Budget cuts in the arts department may look good on paper, but it ends up having a negative effect on students in the long run. Hopefully, future President, you will share my views on the value of art programs in school districts, and how much they are really needed.
Central High School, grade 10.