This Week’s Report: “Arts Education”

Classes in music, drama, dance and visual arts are big hits among K-12 students and parents, and educational theorists say arts training – with its emphasis on precision and creativity -- can help students excel in subjects such as math and science.

But as author Beth Baker explains in this week’s report, “schools are struggling to maintain arts programs in the face of eroding school budgets and government mandates to concentrate on raising math and reading test scores.” The percentages of 18-year-olds who received childhood education in music, visual arts and creative writing – the most popular forms of arts education – have dropped sharply from the early 1980s, and African-American and Hispanic students receive significantly less arts training than whites.

This report is a must-read for classes and papers on education policy, arts training and administration, early-childhood development and state and local budget issues.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor