The arts and physical education as part of the core curriculum help prepare our children to be engaged citizens. They teach teamwork, problem solving, decision making, and compassion. Yet, despite the empirical data that shows how arts in particular improve test scores, improve daily attendance, and enhance the quality of community in schools, the arts have become, like physical education, an appendage to education rather than a core subject as originally intended. According to state statistics, there are over 500,000 jobs in the arts in the state of California alone. To put that figure into perspective, if every single student and faculty member on all the 23 campuses California State University system (the largest university system in the world) were to have one of those arts jobs, we would still have 50,000 jobs unfilled. Sadly, many of these jobs go to individuals from outside of California since the schools are not preparing this particular workforce.
Merryl Goldberg , a Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), penned the above in an Open Letter to San Diego School District.