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Arts Education for America’s Students

National Art Education Association (NAEA) and other national arts and education organizations release a statement calling on policy makers and the public to re-examine support for quality arts education

The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with 12 national arts and education organizations, has released Arts Education for America’s Students, A Shared Endeavor, a statement outlining the importance of high quality arts education and those responsible for providing it to students. A Shared Endeavor articulates the purpose and value of art education in the balanced curriculum of all students, asserts its place as a core academic subject area, and details how sequential arts learning can be supported by rigorous national standards and assessments. The statement, created over a twelve month period by the endorsing organizations, was created to respond to the alarming marginalization of quality arts education in America’s schools in recent years, as funding, staffing, and school time have increasingly focused on tested subject areas. Acknowledging the long history and support for arts education by public and private partners, A Shared Endeavor defines what quality arts education looks like at the local level, encourages partnerships, and calls on organizations and individuals to actively support and promote:

• Policies and resources for arts education.
• Access to arts education for all students.
• Collaboration between school-based arts educators, other subject area teachers, community-based artists, and arts educators.
• Long-term advocacy partnership between all providers of arts education.

A Shared Endeavor reflects the value NAEA and its partner organizations place on the work of our members and others who contribute to high quality arts education. Since its founding in 1947 as the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators, NAEA has consistently advocated and contributed to collaborative initiatives on behalf of all arts education that seek to expand access and equity for all students and to validate its educators in and out of school-based environments.

We encourage our members and others to read this document and its companion diagram that places students at the center of arts education. Further, we urge everyone to use Arts Education for America’s students, A Shared Endeavor as an action tool to help prompt dialogue and engagement with your community arts education leaders in a Q&A conversation about how students in your community access arts education, beginning with these questions:

• How do your students have access to arts education in your community’s schools?
• How do your community-based arts educators such as an art museum or a community school of music connect with your community’s schools?
• How do your teachers connect the learning in their classrooms to learning in the arts? How can you support them in that endeavor?
• Where do you have strong supports for arts education at your school? What arts education does your state require schools to provide?

NAEA Executive Director Deborah B. Reeve, EdD says the document should help schools, teachers, and community members re-examine the full range of community resources available and how they serve students, in all the arts. “Ensuring that all students have a high quality arts education is a collaborative effort. We hope that our members and the members of our colleague professional associations in music, theater, and dance will engage in ongoing discussions to identify and strengthen arts education collaborations at national, state and local levels.”





 Released 1/8/14; updated 9/16/14

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