Arts Education No Big Advantage, Researchers Say

27wwlnlede350661Ann Hulbert has a nice piece in the NYT about how Barack Obama -- and many others -- misguidedly invoke research when arguing for arts education in schools:

"Evaluators compared test scores in 19 public schools that participated

in the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE) — which had artists

and teachers leading classes that blended arts instruction into core

subjects — with those in 29 otherwise similar schools lacking the

arts-infused curriculum. The CAPE schools came out ahead. Yet it isn’t

possible to pinpoint the arts component as the cause. Almost any new

school program initially stirs up excitement among students and may

lure talented new teachers, which has a way of spurring academic

improvement. It’s called the Hawthorne effect."

Sure, art is cool, and maybe there's not enough of it in schools these

days. Yeah, some kids really groove on arts education and that helps

them get through the system. But, apparently, there is no killer research out there showing that

arts helps kids read and do math. Read the rest of Hulbert's article

for what happens next. [cross-posted from TWIE]

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