Perspective: In favor of the arts

Destiny Ortiz

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The disappearance of art classes might not make much of an impact for some, but for others it might just be the end of the world. Why are art classes considered insignificant to the core learning standards that students recognize today? The emphasis is more on taking the required classes such as math and English. Reasons behind this are because of the No Child Left Behind Act, or because there’s not enough funding to keep creative and performing art classes. However, there are also several damaging effects to art classes not being seen as essential to student success.

Classes for creative and performing arts aren’t seen as something that should be required. When looking through a catalog of classes to take, art would be considered an elective. It would be considered something as a step up from being a hobby. That “hobby” can actually benefit people in understanding and being able to communicate with other human beings.

Testing for English and math has stripped creative and performing art classes out of the curriculum. Now, the main focus is more on creating higher test scores than on what students are actually learning according to Neatoday.org. What is the criteria for what is deemed as qualified of being taught in today’s education?

The No Child Left Behind Act made it even more difficult for art classes to be available in schools. They aren’t seen as necessary when the focus is for students to be prepared for standardized testing. There has been an increase of dropout rates after the act was passed and the whole purpose was to record yearly progress through the only way schools knew how: to test their students, according to neatoday.org.

According to Edge.ascd.org, creative and performing arts classes teach fundamentals that math and English are not able to. There are several reasons why these classes are essential to the world that students are now accustomed to living in today.

It’s hard to keep up in the digital world that the 21st century has become and classes of the arts prepare students for the challenges that they will face. One of the reasons listed was that skills of creativity are enhanced and built upon when a student learns how to use space within a canvas, create a new sound to music, or learn how to write and produce their own plays, to keep up with an ever-changing world that is always looking for the next best thing.

According to www.lawstreetmedia.com, art classes help with development and keeping students engaged. Given the fact that 33 percent of students are visual learners, art can help with learning things such as colors, shapes, new words, and other things that would be difficult to teach without visual aids.

Art classes aren’t just about drawing a pretty picture and painting a beautiful portrait. It is also about measurement, number manipulation and proportional thinking. Spatial and geometric patterns are used in the visual arts as well as using models of clays to understand three-dimensional objects that is included in mathematical thinking according to Edge.ascd.org.

If the purpose of having an education is to be able to score high on a standardized test then schools have met their criteria. But, if the purpose is to give students a real authentic education, eliminating art classes is not the path administrations should take. Any excuses that schools come up with including budget cuts are unacceptable. There are several solutions.

Nonprofit organizations help keep art classes funded according to www.lawstreetmedia.com. The Eugene Education Foundation provided 30 percent of their grants to art education in schools. There should be no reason why art classes should not be provided in schools and to be part of the curriculum. Art classes aren’t what’s best for the school but it is what’s important for students.

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