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Arts in Education Week: The Congressional Resolution

September 12th, 2010 by Current CM

The first-ever national Arts in Education Week begins today, September 12. Hereafter, it is set to occur annually the second week in September, through a resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July. Not only do I appreciate our Congress’ gesture, I am also moved by the resolution’s compelling case for arts education—many elements of which are beliefs that those of us at The Right Brain Initiative stand by steadfastly.

These beliefs include the power of the arts to:
– Help students master and want to learn other subjects
– Prepare kids for the current rapidly diversifying economy, and
– Increase likelihood of graduation.

Note also that this resolution names arts education as a “core” academic subject. Though the arts are already written into the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 as core, the question is whether they are truly treated as such in practice.

In fact, I was so moved by this strong statement made by our elected officials, I wanted to republish the entire thing here. Please take a look and let us know what you think. Is there anything they’ve missed?

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111TH CONGRESS
2D SESSION

H. CON. RES. 275

Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the second Sunday of September as Arts in Education Week.

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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 6, 2010

Ms. SPEIER (for herself, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. WU, Mrs. DAVIS of California, MCDERMOTT, Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts, Ms. BERKLEY, Ms. MATSUI, Ms. LEE of California, Mrs. MALONEY, Mr. GRIJALVA, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Mr. PASCRELL, Mr. POLIS of Colorado, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. SMITH of Washington, Mr. SPRATT, Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia, Mr. MCNERNEY, Mr. STARK, Mr. THOMPSON of California, Mr. FARR, Mr. GARAMENDI, Ms. KAPTUR, Mr. TONKO, Mr. SCHAUER, Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. KIND, Mr. CUMMINGS, Ms. WATSON, Mr. HOLT, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. PLATTS, Mr. FILNER, Mr. LANGEVIN, Ms. SCHWARTZ, Ms. MCCOLLUM, Ms. CLARKE, Mr. SCHIFF, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. CAO, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. DICKS, Mr. PALLONE, Ms. CASTOR of Florida, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. SNYDER, Ms. NORTON, Ms. BORDALLO, Mr. HALL of New York, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. SHERMAN, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. WATT, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. YARMUTH, Ms. SUTTON, Mr. HINCHEY, and Mr. HARE) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

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CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the second Sunday of September as Arts in Education Week.

Whereas arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students;

Whereas according to Albert Einstein, ‘‘After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.’’;

Whereas arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline, alternative ways to communicate and express feelings and ideas, and cross-cultural understanding, which supports academic success across the curriculum as well as personal growth outside the classroom;

Whereas the nonprofit arts sector is an economic engine andplays a significant role in the economic health of communities large and small with direct expenditures of wages and benefits as well as goods and services;

Whereas to succeed in today’s economy, students must masterfully use words, images, sounds, and movement to communicate;

Whereas as the Nation works to strengthen its foothold in the 21st century global economy, the arts equip students with a creative, competitive edge;

Whereas the arts provide the skills and knowledge students need to develop the creativity and determination necessary for success in the global information age;

Whereas where schools and communities are delivering high-quality learning opportunities in, through, and about the arts for children, extraordinary results occur;

Whereas according to a study by the Arts Education Partnership entitled Third Space: When Learning Matters, schools with large populations of students in economic poverty can be transformed into vibrant hubs of learning when the arts are infused into the culture and curriculum;

Whereas studies have also found that eighth graders from underresourced environments who are highly involved in the arts have better grades, less likelihood of dropping out by grade ten, have more positive attitudes about school, and are more likely to go onto college;

Whereas attracting and retaining the best teachers is vital and can be achieved by ensuring that schools embrace the arts, becoming havens for creativity and innovation;

Whereas arts education has the power to make students want to learn not just within the arts, but other areas of study;

Whereas art is integral to the lives of United States citizens and essential to the health and vitality of communities and the Nation; and

Whereas the week beginning on the second Sunday of September would be an appropriate week to designate as Arts in Education Week: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate

2 concurring), That Congress—

3 (1) supports the designation of Arts in Edu-

4 cation Week;

5 (2) calls on governors, mayors, and other elect-

6 ed officials from across the United States to issue

1 proclamations to raise awareness of the value and
2 importance of arts in education; and
3 (3) encourages the President to issue a procla-
4 mation encouraging the people of the United States
5 to observe such week with appropriate activities.

Want more?
Download this resolution as a PDF.
Read Oregon Governor Ted Kulongowski’s proclamation (PDF), courtesy of the Oregon Arts Commission.

See more Arts in Education Week advocacy resources from the Arts Education Partnership.

Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington also compiled a really tidy set of resources.

   

Current CM