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Sometimes as Arts specialists in schools, we are so involved with the business of creation that we neglect the business of business. We seem to think that educational politics are best left to those in other disciplines who may be more savvy in district and administrative dynamics. But in doing so, we may be inadvertently putting the arts in jeopardy of being marginalized by district administrators and boards who don ‘t understand the program needs and creative direction required in arts education.
Many board of education members can decipher basic standards in math, language arts and science, but the arts are different. They are conceptual rather than operational and creative in nature. They are also not quantitative disciplines, which means that they cannot be tested on standardized protocols. Unfortunately we currently operate in an educational system that thrives on data and “accountability” and without advocates in high places the arts in schools run the risk of becoming budgetary casualties by boards who fail to realize the essential importance that arts play in the whole curriculum. We must educate, not only the students in our classrooms, but district administration, board members and our communities regarding arts education and its powerful affects on whole brain learning.