Art Funding Necessary For Quality Education

1474 words - 6 pages

Imagine the feeling you get when you finished a project that you have been working on for months. Then, visualize all of the blood, sweat, and tears you have placed into the finished project has been ripped away. Imagine that feeling. This is what children in the education system feel when art is not a part of the curriculum. They sit in schools constantly learning math, science, english, and social studies without any arts. There is no creativity, no imagination, and no individuality. Children feel accomplished in music, dance, theater, shop, and visual arts. There is too much structure in schools, and the arts allow students to freely express their passion and create their own identity.
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The artists, however, faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. (Boaz, 1995)

Everybody views art from a different perspective; therefore, we should respect people’s beliefs about their creativity and imagination.
In 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was the primary organization for federal art funding. The NEA mission was to foster excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts throughout the U.S. However, the NEA’s funding was cut during the 1980s and 90s due to controversial art exhibits. In 1995, the Educate America Act of 2000 listed art as a core curriculum, but the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) views the arts as a low priority. The DOE budgeted only $40 million in 2005, yet the arts need to have $2 billion to run efficiently. The arts were further diminished with the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This act expanded the federal role in education to close the gap between disadvantaged and minority students to increase the nation’s literacy and math scores by 2014.
Since the arts are not assessed on standardized testing such as the SAT, many schools do not focusing their attention on the arts. However, independent studies have shown enrollment in art courses positively correlate with higher verbal and math scores. According to the 2005 College-Bound Seniors: total group profile report, the average score for SAT participants in verbal and math is 508 and 520 while students with a half a year or less scored 485 and 502, respectively. On the other hand, students with four years of art scored 543 and 541 in verbal and math. (as cited in Ruppert, 2006, page 9)
The five major forms of art are dance, drama, music, visual and multi-arts. In spite of this, students learn academic, basic, and comprehensive experiences from the different areas.
Certain forms of art enhance and complement basic reading skills, language development and writing skills. Children learning to read and write must be able to associate letters, words and phrases with sounds, sentences, and meanings. One of the most common methods of teaching reading is storytime. The use of drama helps students memorize and understand the storyline as well as motivate them to learn. In addition, drama an be implemented to develop and improve the qualit of a student’s narrative writing. On the other hand, music instucton can help improve the capacity for spatial-temporal reasoning, which is “the ability to understand, the relationship of ideas and objects in space and time (Ruppert, 2006, page 12).” Similar to mathematics, musical training emphasizes proportion, patterns, ratios. Students consistently involved in band perform twice as better in math as their peers.
Art courses can contribute to certain thinking, social, and motivational skills considered basic for school, work, and life. Thinking skills are the various...

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