Pushing for Arts Education Opportunities for All
Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Every student deserves the chance to explore their creative talents. It can literally be a life-changing experience. That’s why, at MASSCreative, we advocate for quality arts education for all.

Over the last decade, public schools have shifted their focus and resources to reading, math, and science instruction in order to meet state educational-testing standards, as well as federal standards put in place under the “No Child Left Behind” law. This has resulted in a narrowing of instruction that has pushed arts and humanities to the margins.

Yet arts instruction in dance, media, music, theatre, drama, and visual arts is necessary to developing the whole child. Today, even though arts are designated as a core academic subject as part of the Common Core curriculum, arts instruction in the Commonwealth is uneven across districts. Some school systems have rich, sequential, and regular arts instruction in every grade. Others have limited or no arts classes.

As a first step to make sure arts education is equally accessible to all children in the Commonwealth, MASSCreative has partnered with Arts|Learning to work with the Board of Higher Education to establish one year of arts education in high school as an admission requirement to the Massachusetts state university and UMASS systems.

Over the past year, Jonathan Rappaport, executive director of Arts|Learning has been compiling research to make this case to the Board of Higher Education. Additionally, over the past two months, MASSCreative and our Action Network have been reaching out to executive directors, board members, educators and administrators, and local businesses to sign onto our letter to the Board of Higher Education. If you know an opinion leader in the arts education field, please encourage them to sign the letter and stay tuned for an update on when we’ll be delivering the research and the letter to the Board of Higher Education.    

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