New Report Ties Pennsylvania's Bright Future to Arts Education Progress

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 8:00am

Creating Pennsylvania's Future through the Arts and Arts EducationA new report released by the Education Policy and Leadership Center Arts and Education Initiative strongly encourages lawmakers to prioritize “high quality, comprehensive, standards-based arts education” for all primary and secondary students throughout he state of Pennsylvania.

The report, Creating Pennsylvania’s Future through the Arts and Arts Education, makes almost forty specific advisements to state leaders and other leaders in order to bolster the arts and arts education throughout the Commonwealth.  All the advisements were the result of a twelve-month series of talks by a thirty-two member Study Group, a series of surveys, a national review of public policy, and eight regional town hall-style meetings.

All the advisements in the report are organized around five specific goals:

  1. “Citizens of all ages in all Pennsylvania communities have access to a rich and diverse array of arts and cultural experiences.
  2. All PK-12 students, including those with disabilities and those who are gifted, are provided a high-quality, comprehensive, sequential, standards-based arts education that includes visual arts, music, dance, and theatre.
  3. All PK-12 arts teachers and elementary and special education teachers who provide instruction in the arts are highly qualified and effective.
  4. Artists and arts organizations effectively collaborate with schools and educators to strengthen the arts provided to all PK-12 students and the arts and cultural experiences available to citizens of all ages.
  5. Artists, arts organizations, arts education professional associations, and other arts education stakeholders and community leaders effectively collaborate to promote and sustain advocacy efforts to increase policymaker and public support for public policies that will strengthen standards-based arts education opportunities provided to all PK-12 students and the arts and cultural experiences available to citizens of all ages.”

These goals are relevant, according to the study, because the engage students not only academically, but also socially, economically, emotionally, and civically as well.

Pennsylvania’s report was released on the heels of complementary studies from the state of New Jersey, which spent significant time evaluating its progress toward specific arts education goals, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which focused on the positive impact of arts education on low-income students.

A PDF of the full report is available at the Grantmakers in the Arts website.

For information on the impact of arts education in the state of California and Los Angeles County, visit the Research section of the California Arts Council’s website.