Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arts Education - It's your carrots and peas

Arts Action Alert - Take Action Now!
Dear Dominic:
 Today, for the first time in 11 years, the federal government 
released a national report card on achievement in the arts 
among 8th graders.  This long-awaited report finds that 
since 1997, our nation's students have not made 
significant progress in developing their skills and knowledge 
(NAEP) in the Arts report is the only continuing, national 
measure of academic achievement in America's schools. 
A nationally representative sample of over 7,900 eighth grade 
students from public and private schools participated in the NAEP 
Arts Assessment in 2008. Students were measured on their ability 
to create and respond to the visual arts; whereas, the study scaled
 back on music questions and only measured a student's ability 
to respond and identify music.  Unfortunately, theatre and dance 
skills were not assessed at all due to budgetary and data 
collection constraints, according to the National Center for 
Education Statistics.
As reported today in the New York TimesChristian Science 
Monitorand USAToday, the findings are "mediocre," "lackluster," 
and "may make America's arts instructors kind of blue."  
Not a great report card.  However, new U.S. Secretary of Education 
Arne Duncan gave a strong reaction in support of arts education, 
"This Arts Report Card should challenge all of us to make K-12 
arts programs more available to America's children ...
We can and should do better for America's students."
As you may know, Americans for the Arts has been leading a 
national effort to increase federal funding and to strengthen the 
role of the arts in the classroom through legislative efforts in 
Congress.  We have published a set of legislative 
recommendations that calls for changes to the problematic 
No Child Left Behind Act. Our schools need greater support
for arts education - take two minutes to send a message to 
your Congressional delegation, please visit our E-Advocacy Center.
The Arts. Ask for More.To raise awareness of the
importance of arts education, 
we have also been leading, 
along with The Ad Council, 
the NAMM Foundation and 
hundreds of local, state, 
and national campaign 
partners, a public service awareness campaign 
titled, "The Arts. Ask For More." currently airing on radio 
and television and appearing in print media.  
In the television and radio ads, the arts are equated with a 
healthy diet; just like kids need healthy foods on a daily basis, 
kids need their daily serving of the arts. Included in the campaign 
is a list of "10 Simple Ways," detailing how parents can get 
involved in their child's arts education.
Please take action on this important education effort by 

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