Arts Schools Succeed, Says The New York Times (and we agree!)

August 1st's edition of the The New York Times featured "Where All the School’s a Stage, and the List of Success Stories Is Long," a spotlight on arts-focused high schools from across the country. Through aggregated data and individual students' stories, author Lizette Alvarez makes the case for arts schools as a critical avenue for success for students captivated by the arts who would be far less likely to find their way in schools that focused solely on academics. Featured schools include Miami's New World School of the Arts, the Baltimore School for the Arts, and Boston Arts Academy (Boston Arts Academy was founded by our current executive director, Linda Nathan, and is a popular destination high school for many Conservatory Lab graduates). Alvarez shares Linda's thoughts on the ways arts schools can create schools that are diverse in many ways, including economically. More and less wealthy students to learn with and from each other, and, as Linda says, "Rising tides lift all boats.”

Still, economic struggle is part of the story--not only students' economic challenges, which can limit access to first choice colleges, but also for the schools themselves. Though the case for arts schools' success is full of evidence of traditional academic achievement and decades of gradates' professional achievement, it's been hard for many schools to persuade policymakers to ensure proper funding. Kudos to the Times for this strong argument for the critical role that arts schools provide.

Jill DavidsonComment