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US Secretary of Education Is Convinced that Arts Education Raises HS Graduation Rates

”I’m convinced when students are engaged in the arts, graduation rates go up, dropout rates go down,” Duncan said.

One thing we do know about graduation rates and arts education in New York City public schools, is that the schools that offer more arts have higher rates of graduation. It’s in this report.

And, according to The New York Times, Duncan indicated that the re-authorization of NCLB would recognize what parents, teachers and students have all noticed: “a narrowing of the curriculum.”

It’s all here in CAPITAL CULTURE: Obama Drops Cautious Arts Policy.

Okay, now that Duncan is sure about arts leading to higher graduation rates and he also stands firm on high stakes testing leading to a loss of arts education, maybe, just maybe he might revise the Race to the Top guidelines for the second round to support arts education in the way the first round is supporting STEM subjects.

I call that first round: “the missed opportunity.”

Let’s just imagine what might be possible had the guidelines for RttT provided any sort of opening for arts education. It would have been a game changer. That’s what the USDOE is capable of right now, with all that money that will flow to state departments of education and school districts. By simply carving out a part of the RttT guidelines for arts ed, it could have changed policy/practice in the most remarkable way.


an ArtsJournal blog