A statewide survey of arts education programs in New Jersey schools released Thursday finds a correlation between schools with more arts education programs and greater proficiency scores on the language sections of the state’s High School Proficiency Assessment.
The report is a follow-up to one conducted in 2007, and is a joint project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the state Department of Education, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, and Quadrant Arts Education Research.
While the findings are significant, they come as no surprise to East Brunswick Supervisor of Arts Education Jeffrey Lesser, who attended Thursday’s presentation of the survey.
“For many years there have been multiple studies regarding the ‘tangential benefits; of Arts Education and the obvious difference in test scores for those students who study these creative processes,” he said. “Even the College Board came out with a study of higher SAT results for these students. I think this is fantastic, but I don’t regard the arts as being just a supplement to math or language arts. I see that the real value of an Arts Education is the outlet for expression that the arts provide. Having the opportunity to create a work of art, perform music, act in a play, or dance expressively is essential for every human being. It is the glue that holds society together, while still making each culture unique.”
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