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Music and Arts Boost Achievement

March 25th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

As school districts across the state brace for cuts, a new study by FSU suggests
that some of the programs on the cutting block are the most effective in keeping students motivated and engaged and in school. As Mike Vasilinda tells us music educators and performing arts teachers are fighting for their livelihood.

To be or not to be…an actor, a musician, or an artist. The decision could change how a student performs throughout their life. A new study by an FSU professor finds strong correlation between a students participation in the arts and how well they do on the FCAT, SAT and whether they drop out. Music educators say there has never been such comprehensive evidence.

The more arts they had, the better they did, James Perry with the Music Educators Association said. And there was a significant difference between the kids with four years of arts and students with no arts.

High school principal Rocky Hanna says band students are among the best and brightest, but he also sees big differences when special ed students pick up a musical instrument.

Music and arts help those kids develop and it stimulates their mind for growth, Hanna said.

With budget cuts looming, performing arts educators are worried that their going to be the first people on the chopping block.

Educators hope lawmakers will look at the study and decide not to cut the arts deeper than any other programs.

Senate Educations Appropriations Chairman Steve Wise says hes gotten the message.

When we get through, I think the education budget is going to be, I think theyre going to be a lot happier than what they thought was going to happen, Wise said.

But whether music and other programs can weather the budget storm remains deeply in doubt.

The study found enhanced academic performance when the arts were involved across all ethnic, racial and economic levels of society.

Posted in Children, Education, Legislature, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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