Letter Template to DESE

Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Massachusetts Board of Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden MA 02148
boe@doe.mass.edu, www@doe.mass.edu

Dear Commissioner Chester and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education,

With the passage of the new education reform law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Commonwealth has an opportunity to evaluate and rethink its accountability and assistance plan to guarantee a well-rounded education for every Massachusetts child.

I am excited to hear that DESE is considering access and participation in arts education as potential indicators in the next generation of the state assessments and accountability plan.

Arts education helps increase student engagement, prepare students for postsecondary education and career opportunities, and enhance school climate.  (Use/adapt any or all of these bullets)

  • Research has shown that arts education develops student motivation and engagement, including improved attendance, persistence, focused attention, heightening education outcomes, and intellectual risk taking.
  • Arts education helps students develop the skills they need to be successful in college and in the 21st century workplace, such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, dealing with ambiguity and complexity, and collaboration and team work skills.
  • Arts education can be a powerful driver of school climate and culture. The arts enhance relationships between teachers, students, families, and the community, creating new connections, fostering collaboration, and increasing school pride.

[Include personal impact. i.e. As a parent, teacher, the CEO Company X, and/or leader of Organization X, this is of interest to me because…]

As a believer in a top notch public education system, I urge you to include arts education in the MA accountability and assistance plan and include assessments of schools based on:

  • Student access to sequential arts learning and creative learning experiences
  • Student participation in sequential arts learning and creative learning experiences
  • Use of Titles I. II, and IV to ensure funding of arts education and professional training for arts educators.

Thanks you for consideration.

Sincerely,

Name
Organization, Contact Information

Download a word version of this letter here.

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