What Arts Education Can Do

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Turnaround Arts Initiative
Michelle Obama at Savoy Elementary School in D.C., one of eight schools part of the Turnaround Arts Initiative, where schools use the arts as a central part of their reform and improvement strategy (Evan Vucci/AP)

Today, the Boston Public Schools and EdVestors, an urban education nonprofit, released a report called The Arts Advantage: The Impact of Arts Education in Boston Public Schools. It culminates the first four years of the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, a multi-year effort to expand arts education throughout the school system.

There are a lot of claims about how art can impact learning in schools. Some say playing an instrument makes you better at math, or that art classes can improve test scores. So what do the arts actually teach? Is there a link between academic performance and art classes? And if schools are already cash-strapped, why should they invest in the arts?


Lois Hetland, professor of Art Education at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Laura Perille, executive director of EdVestors, a Boston-based urban education nonprofit

This segment aired on June 6, 2013.


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