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Friday, February 12, 2010

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Executive Director's Column

Testimony on Arts Education

NASAA Executive Director Jonathan Katz

On behalf of all state arts agencies, NASAA Executive Director Jonathan Katz recently testified before the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization Committee about the importance of the arts to American education. Specifically, NASAA:

Katz also talked about the arts as part of the solution to the nation's sobering high school drop-out rate:

[W]e urge Department of Education leaders to consider and give voice to the special value of arts education in addressing our nation's catastrophic drop-out rate. Though a substantial body of research documents the advantages students who study the arts sustain over students who do not, the obvious truth is that students drop out because their individuality is not valued, they do not believe they have the talent to succeed, and the people who are supposed to support them are not engaged. Arts education learning and performance addresses each of these factors as well as or better than any other part of the core academic curriculum. Arts education should be an area of investment; reduction of resources for arts education is contributing to a national tragedy. Our leaders should say so.

Read Katz's complete testimony.