Saturday, January 08, 2005

Importance Of Arts Integration Into Inner City Schools 

An extremely exciting editorial in today's Washington Post by Nick Rabkin and Robin Redmond speaks to the importance of integrating the arts into the curriculum of inner city schools. From the piece:

A study of 23 arts-integrated schools in Chicago showed test scores rising up to two times faster there than in demographically comparable schools. A study of a Minneapolis program showed that arts integration has substantial effects for all students, but appears to have its greatest impact on disadvantaged learners. Gains go well beyond the basics and test scores. Students become better thinkers, develop higher-order skills, and deepen their inclination to learn.

Of course, those of us at WEDJ recognized the value of arts integration from the beginning. In fact, its why we created the school in the first place.

Please remember we move next weekend. We can use your help and if you are available there is information here. I went by the site yesterday and it is beautiful although there is still much to be done.

On a related note, I am thinking this morning about how this all worked out that I am so involved with a charter school which is marrying high academic achievement with the arts. I'm beginning to believe in fate. For if you know me well you know that besides the influence of Ayn Rand in my life, the other major literary work that has impacted my thinking for the last 20 years is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. If you have never read the book I highly recommend it. If you are interested in learning more about the ideas of this author and want a hint as to how they relate to my involvement in WEDJ you can take a look at my recently published article "Management and Art."

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