December 30, 2011
Written By Kristen Pagalia
According to Department of Education data, about 1 in 5 students in California dropped out of high school in 1986 when the blockbuster was released, and that statistic has not improved. In recent years, the drop out rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District has climbed as high as 1 in 3. Further, a University of California, Santa Barbara study found it costs California over $46 billion for each year’s cohort of dropouts over their lifetimes. Still, year after year, district leadership and educational policy makers cite reducing attrition as a top priority while continuing to cut resources to the curricular activities proven to keep kids in school and doing well — namely the arts. In her new book, Why Our High Schools Need the Arts — Fighting Attrition with Interest and Relevance, Dr. Jessica Hoffmann Davis weaves a masterful case for arts education as an antidote to academic disengagement, as well as a uniquely affective method of teaching the character and intellectual traits associated with scholastic, social, and professional success.
For more about this article go to: Schools Need the Arts