Partners value arts, music, and extracurricular programs
Parents, students, educators, and community partners all recognize the value of a well-rounded education that includes the arts and extracurricular activities. Their support is based on experience and supported by research.
A well-rounded educational experience that includes the arts and extracurricular activities is closely linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Research is clear that not only are non-core subjects and extracurricular activities important in their own right, but these programs can also improve students' academic, social, and emotional development.
Even though the value of these programs is clear, they are at risk in a growing number of school districts. As a result of unprecedented state funding cuts and an emphasis on high-stakes testing and assessments, school districts are reducing or eliminating art, music, physical education, and foreign language programs altogether. They are also demanding that students “pay to play” sports and other activities.
Our students deserve the opportunities that come with a well-rounded and comprehensive education. Partners for Public Education is committed to the success of every child. So let's continue to call on policymakers to fully fund public education and ensure that all students' needs are met.
Why Do These Programs Matter?
Some Key Facts You Can Share
- Researchers found connections between the study of the arts (including music and dance) and increased academic achievement, creative thinking, school engagement, motivation to learn, and problem-solving skills.
- Students exposed to arts education and extracurricular programs also tend to be better at various social and emotional skills and competencies, such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and the development of healthy relationships.
- Arts classes and extracurricular activities can reach students in different ways than core subjects can. They provide students with an outlet for self-expression, presenting different challenges and problems to solve. These outcomes often translate into increased engagement in school and decreased negative behaviors.
- Physical activity, specifically aerobic exercise and physical education pro- grams, have been shown to have positive effects on academic achievement and other cognitive outcomes. Students who participated in consistent physical education programs saw increases in their math and reading achievement, as well as increases in IQ.
- Foreign language classes may improve student learning in other academic areas. Researchers have found that learning a new language, especially in early childhood, can improve learning in the primary language.