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MPC Essential Reads

Beyond the Core: Advancing Student Success Through the Arts

Thirty years ago, in response to a K-12 public education system defined by mediocrity, with low student test scores
and widening gaps in achievement, the accountability movement was born.  Federal and state education policies
focused on raising standards and regularly assessing students. However, over the years, many policymakers
and the public observed a connection between the accountability movement and an overemphasis on testing in
core subjects, such as English and math, a narrowing of curricula and the elimination of many important subjects,
including the arts. Arts education fosters critical deeper learning skills, such as collaboration and perseverance, in

Yet, research consistently shows that arts education and the integration of the arts into core subjects can have dramatic effects on student success — defined not just by student test scores, but also critical skills, such as
creativity, teamwork and perseverance. Research indicates that these skills can be as effective predictors of long term
success in college, careers and citizenship as test scores.

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