What We're Reading: Arts Education Advocacy in a Post-Pandemic World
From Tooshar Swain for AFTA's ARTS blog, "National Arts in Education Week is upon us, and it is a wonderful time to reflect on where arts education has been and where it can go with impassioned arts advocacy. K-12 arts students and educators have endured a rocky road through the pandemic, and their perseverance must continue as we head into a new normal of education in the United States."
"The path to a new normal began with the complete shutdown of in-person learning. Many schools stopped useful learning activities in March 2020 for the remainder of the school year. Schools were quickly forced to implement a virtual learning platform. This came with no experience on how to instruct children away from the classroom and little familiarity with employing the technology for virtual learning to occur. As administrators and parents rushed to identify how best to limit learning loss in subjects like math, reading, and English, students and educators felt the pinch in arts education as they considered how best to move forward past administrative and technological restrictions."
"While schools throughout the country have resumed in-school learning and arts education programs are thriving in some communities, quality arts programs continue to be limited or not available at all in many schools. The renamed Arts ARE Education statement is a now full-fledged national arts education campaign recognizing that all pre-K through grade 12 students have the right to a high-quality school-based arts education in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. As a well-rounded subject area under federal education law—the Every Student Succeeds Act—music and the arts support the daily well-being of students, foster a welcoming and safe school environment, and encourage inclusivity through multiple pathways for every child’s creative voice."