Should Marriage Be Defined as Between a Man a Woman

Topics: Music, Standardized test, No Child Left Behind Act Pages: 5 (720 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Christina and Lisette 1

Christina Betton and Lisette Rodriguez
ENG 101 Oct. 18, 2012

There has been many opinions and controversial findings on how effective performing

arts is to students’ success. Should students take performing arts as serious as they need
to academic arts such as Reading, Writing, and Math? Many believe that it is not of

significant importance. When educational budget cuts take place, these are the initial

programs to get cut. What are performing arts good for? Many researchers suggest that

performing arts can boost students’ test scores, others aren’t convinced.


In an article named “Arts and Smarts” pact and national endowment for the arts chairman

Dana Gioia said in 2007 “ There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as

stories, songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, and consoles. It educates our

emotions.”. He is one of many advocates that have been making similar statements and

pleas stressing advantages of performing arts in hope that people will view its values

Differently. Art is meant to give students a break from all other difficult requirements. It

allows them to express their emotions through something/anything they naturally enjoy

doing without the pressure of being graded/tested on. For the first time ever scientists

have used sophisticated brain imaging techniques to examine how music, dance, drama,

and visual arts might positively affect cognition and intelligence. This was done to take a Christina and Lisette 2

First step toward understanding whether art can actually make people smarter in ways

that can be measured. According to the 2006 Gallop poll, “85 percent of Americans

believed participation in school music was linked to better grades and higher test

scores”. James S. Caterall, a professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and

Information Studies reported in a 1999 paper that “ middle and high school students with

strong involvement in theater or music scored an average of 16 to 18 percentage points

higher on standardized tests than those with low arts involvement.”. Several major

studies worth about 2.1 million dollars were done by a private philanthropic organization

called the Dana Foundation in 2004 to sort out facts. The results were published in a

2008 report titled “ Learning Arts and the brain”. In one study researchers concluded

that the arts train children’s/students attention, which in turn improve cognition. Another

study concluded a “clear benefit” that children who had intensive music training did

better on some geometry tasks and on map reading. Another study reported that

“phonological awareness- or the ability to distinguish between speech sounds, was

correlated with music training and could be tracked with the development of a specific

brain pathway.” With all these findings and studies there still remains the question, Are

smart people drawn to the arts or does arts training make people smarter?!


Christina and Lisette 3

Major budget cuts and the No Child Left Behind Act(passed in 2002) threatened the role of

performing arts in many schools, especially those with high numbers of minority children.

Schools have now put their main focus and funding on standardized testing scores of

academic subjects such as math and reading, Meanwhile the very few schools that sill do

have performing arts are cutting the time being spent on it. In 2006-2007 education budget

was nationally cut by $35 million dollars. In San Francisco, Josef Norris- A grant supported

artist who creates mural with kids in public schools said “he has worked with classes where

fifth graders have never picked up a paintbrush or handled a lump of clay.” In a survey titled

REAP- Reviewing Education and the Arts Project, Hetland and winner examined a research...
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