I was pleased to read your article about the Voice Charter School and how arts education increased the academic outcomes of its students. It was no surprise to me that 70 percent of the students passed their New York State math exams.
As the co-chairwoman of the Congressional Arts Caucus, I have been promoting the benefits of the arts on the brain development of children for many years. Research tells us that students who take art, drama and music classes for four years have significantly higher scores on the math and verbal sections of the SAT — as much as 66 points higher on the verbal score over those who had no classes in the arts.
Studying the arts opens up the other hemisphere of the brain. In the golden age of the National Endowment of the Arts, companies like Westinghouse told us that they wanted to hire people who had studied modern dance. I hope that everyone from local school boards to members of Congress takes this message to heart and avoids shortsighted funding cuts to the arts.
Washington, Dec. 26, 2014, Published in New York Times