President G.W. Bush loves to paint and has recently gotten recognition for his artwork, but does he know how his administration squelched the arts for millions of public school students, thereby also stifling their chances of a good career in the arts? That’s right. There are jobs in the arts!
NCLB included the arts. It should have been every bit as important as reading and math. But it wasn’t easily tested. Today, if you can’t throw a high-stakes test at something it isn’t seen as worthy. Every single subject must be measurable or it’s done for.
Before you “paint me” as a sour Democrat, let me say I am just as disappointed in what President Obama has done to the arts in public schools, or what he hasn’t done. His Turnaround Arts gives eight schools the privilege of a spiffy arts program, which seems especially sad when you think about how the arts have been stolen from most poor schools. It is suppose to determine whether the arts increase test scores and keep students in school. Once again, it isn’t really about the arts.
I’m not kidding. They want to determine if the arts matter.
Let me make it simple and clear. I have read the research. Will the arts improve test scores? Yes! Will the arts keep students in school? Of course!
I also don’t like the word “Turnaround” which implies that there was something wrong with these sweet children and the arts will hopefully fix them. Maybe they wouldn’t be having so much trouble in school if they had never lost their art programs in the first place! And with Common Core Standards, even wealthier schools miss out on the arts. CCS are supposed to blend art into the subjects…meaning students don’t get any art.
Across America, the country that other countries admired greatly for artistic achievements, you will find almost all schools with dwindling art, music, and drama classes.
The effort should be to put the arts BACK IN ALL SCHOOLS where they rightly belong.
I’m not talking partnerships with the local art museums or city symphonies either. Those are and should be treasured extras.
I’m talking about seriously certified art and music teachers to actually teach children the arts.
Putting aside test scores and fighting truancy, both of which really are extremely important, the arts should be put back into every public school because the arts are wonderful subjects, and the arts might lead to possible jobs for the students!
According to the Berklee College of Music and their 2012 report “Music Careers In Dollars and Cents” there are jobs in music that pay well. The report seen here has a longer list but here are several examples:
· Video Game Audio $18,000 – $150,000
· Recording Engineer $25,000 – $150,000
· Booking Agent $20,000 – $1,000,000
· Music Therapist $20,000 – $135,000
In the Visual Arts and Design Areas seen here there are even more jobs listed under the following general categories:
· Cinematography/Media Production
· Fashion Merchandising
· Film/Cinema Studies
· Interior Design
· Landscape Architecture
· Theater Design and Technology
So in this economy, where every job matters, public schools need to bring back the arts and it should be for all public schools—not just eight. I am not saying jobs in these areas are easier to get than jobs in other areas. The point is, there are jobs. They do exist.
More importantly, when we deny children the opportunity to express themselves through the arts, we will never know what kind of job they could have done if they only had the chance. It will be a loss to them, but it will also be a loss to us.
Also, here is a link to some art jobs that are available at this time in case anyone is looking.