Art Improves the Lives of At-Risk Youth: A New Report Further Confirms What We Already Know

 A new report from the National Endowment for the Arts examines academic and civic-behavior outcomes of teenagers and young adults who have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school.

The report finds that  teenagers and young adults of low socioeconomic status (SES) who have a history of in-depth arts involvement show better academic outcomes than do low-SES youth with less arts involvement.  Students involved in the arts earn better grades and demonstrate higher rates of college enrollment and attainment. Young adults with intensive arts experiences in high school were more likely to show civic-minded behavior than young adults without, with comparatively high levels of volunteering, voting, and engagement with local or school politics. The report concludes that at-risk teenagers or young adults with a history of intensive arts experiences show achievement levels closer to, and in some cases exceeding, the levels shown by the general population studied.

This is great news that should inform education policy.  That being said, why are the arts always the first to be cut from a school’s budget?  What can we do to make the case for arts education?   Weigh in with your thoughts.

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