File - Tennesseans for the Arts

Prepared by Kim Leavitt, Director of Arts Education,
Tennessee Arts Commission
“The power behind the U.S. economy is its
creative class;
scientists, artists, engineers, technologists, and
designers, to name a few.
The creative sector accounts for nearly
half of American wage income, but
the U.S. is suddenly in danger
of losing its edge.”
-Richard Florida, Harvard Business Review, February 2004.
Education in America
The current U.S. public education system was designed
to meet the needs of a World War I economy.
We now exist in a global marketplace.
A 21st century world
demands that human beings be
able to
think for themselves;
create new ideas;
work in teams;
be innovative; and
possess the imagination
to design future technologies
and resources that
we can’t even envision yet.
The Arts teach these skills.
No other subject does.
Why Students need the Arts
Research Proves
Arts Education Works
High school students who take arts
classes have higher math and verbal
SAT scores than students who take no
arts classes.
-The College Board
Dance & music impact brain
development in young children and
have a profound impact on
coordination and literacy.
- The Dana Foundation
The arts greatly impact the
developmental growth of each
child and are the equalizer among
socio-economic boundaries.
- The UCLA Imagination Project
The Arts have a measurable
impact on at risk youth
in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy
problems while also increasing overall academic
- U.S. Dept. of Justice & the National Endowment for the Arts
Students who participate
in the arts are . . .
4 times more likely to be recognized for
academic achievement
• 3 times more likely to be elected to class
• 4 times more likely to participate in a
math and science fair
• 3 times more likely to win an award for
school attendance
• 4 times more likely to win an award for
writing an essay or poem
- Living the Arts Through Language + Learning, Americans for the Arts Monograph
The U.S. Department of Education
considers the arts
core academic subjects equal
to math, science, reading, civics,
economics, history, foreign
language and geography.
Yet, many Tennessee schools
& districts have cut funding
for the arts.
The arts in Tennessee schools
Legislation passed by the Tennessee General
Assembly in 2008 encourages schools to
fully implement art and music and integrate
them into other core academic subjects.
- Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10
Encourages, not requires.
No State Mandate
The Tennessee State Department of
Education does not require or monitor
arts instruction in public schools. It is
left to each school district to determine
if the arts will be taught and how
What Tennessee Schools Provide
• High school graduates must have one
fine arts credit to graduate. Most states
require two.
• The majority of Tennessee elementary
schools provide art or music once a week
for 30-45 minutes. Math, science, and
other subjects are taught every day.
The arts are the only
academic subject that
teach all of the
21st Century learning skills.
Problem solving
imagination and
critical thinking
One Example Making a Difference:
Value Plus Schools
• In 2006, the Tennessee Arts Commission
established Value Plus Schools, an arts integration
program piloted in six Title I, high poverty schools.
• Teachers in Value Plus Schools are trained to
integrate the arts into other subjects so that
students learned math, science, and other content
through the arts every day.
• Within 3 years, all six schools experienced dramatic
changes in academic achievement, student selfesteem, teacher retention & parental involvement.
Value Plus Schools
After only one year in the Value Plus program, one
school saw math scores increase from 86%
proficient to 91%. After three years, students
tested 100% proficient in math.
For economically disadvantaged students,
Value Plus has closed the achievement gap.
Four of the six schools saw test scores
in math and reading increase an average of
6-10 percentage points each year.
These results were
accomplished because
schools chose to make the
arts an integral part of the
curriculum every day.
Think of what would
happen if every school
embraced the arts.
National research and
programs such as
Value Plus Schools
prove the arts are
critical to educating
the whole child.
Doesn’t your child
deserve a complete
Play a Part: Support the Arts in Schools
Add your voice to ongoing advocacy efforts. Join
Tennesseans for the Arts, our statewide advocacy
For more information, contact:
Tennesseans for the Arts at
Tennessee Arts Commission at