Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools
"On May 6, 2011, The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) announced the “release of its landmark report Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools. The culmination of 18 months of research, meetings with stakeholders, and site visits all over the country, this report represents an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, including an update of the current research base about arts education outcomes, and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the field that have emerged over the past decade. It also includes a set of recommendations to federal, state and local policymakers” (pcah.gov, 2011).
“In October of 2008, then-Senator Obama released a powerful Platform in Support of the Arts. In it he argued for reinvesting in American arts education, and reinvigorating the creativity and innovation that has made this country great. Taking up this charge, over the past eighteen months the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) has conducted an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, surveying recent research about its documented benefits and identifying potential opportunities for advancing arts education.
While we found a growing body of research to support positive educational outcomes associated with arts-rich schools, and many schools and programs engaged in such work, we also found enormous variety in the delivery of arts education, resulting in a complex patchwork with pockets of visionary activity flourishing in some locations and inequities in access to arts education increasing in others. At this moment in our nation’s history, there is great urgency around major transformation in America’s schools. Persistently high dropout rates (reaching 50% or more in some areas) are evidence that many schools are no longer able to engage and motivate their students. Students who do graduate from high school are increasingly the products of narrowed curricula, lacking the creative and critical thinking skills needed for success in post-secondary education and the workforce. In such a climate, the outcomes associated with arts education –– which include increased academic achievement, school engagement, and creative thinking –– have become increasingly important. Decades of research show strong and consistent links between high-quality arts education and a wide range of impressive educational outcomes” (V-VI).