Dear Future President,
First off, welcome to your new position in office. Congratulations on winning in the election. I hope you do what you can to make this country a collectively a great one. Now, onto what I’m writing to you about. I would like to discuss the way that arts education is being handled in our public schools.
They way that the arts are handled seems to be with little to no thought. Now I understand that money is a player in this entire issue. With the way the education system is handled a lot of art focused programs just don’t seem to fit or even matter. Of course it is understandable why these classes are often the first to be cut. They are expensive and many schools just do not have the finances to keep up with it. Yet, by cutting these programs, many students are being hurt more than helped. Allow me to explain.
Scores in the average common core classes will rise. “In reading students saw math scores rise 23% , compared with 16% at other turnaround schools; the reading scores also increased 13% at schools with the art funding, compared to roughly 6% elsewhere”(Schimel, Kate. "The Arts Find a Role in 21st Century Education." Latest News. N.p., 06 Aug. 2015. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.). Art programs help, and not only with the common core classes, but with skills I’m absolutely certain you had to master to get to where you are now; skills such as public speaking and creative thinking.
Arts also with young at-risk kids. “Not only can art programs provide incentives for these children to stay in school, but it can also improve their academic performance, including reading and math”(Metla, Valeriya. "School Art Programs: Should They Be Saved? - Law Street (TM)." Law Street (TM). N.p., 25 July 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.) I know we put a lot of money into these correctional facilities for those who break laws. If we use art programs to help out these students, or at-risk youths, out of prisons then we don't have to put as much money into that and can't even more money into the arts.
Finally, budget cuts have been made for certainly valid reasons. I understand that there are a lot of things in this country that need the money, the military for example, but when our schools, a vital part to being a strong country and some of the classes that make us each individually strong are removed, what happens? I propose this to you, because you are in a position of power. You have the ability to change at much grander scale than myself.
The fact that there is a paper written on the arts from 2010 shows that this has been going on for at least 6 years. The article is Advocating for Arts in the Classroom (Mark Bauerlein). It talks about how the arts were important then and how it was showing us what to do, covering may of the points above.
So, Mr. President, can you take some time out of your next four years in the white house to think about this? Hopefully as soon as you can, but I do understand you’ll have quite a bit on your plate in the first 100 days. Please consider all the points I’ve mentioned above.