While an art teacher can tout the benefits of art til the cows come home, here are articles that discuss the importance of Arts in schools.

Research on the Value of the Arts in Education and Arts in Public Policy
A collection of links to other articles discussing the value of Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Theater in education and public policy both in the United States and around the world.

Arts Appear to Play Role in Brain Development, The Baltimore Sun, May 18, 2009
An examination of current, on-going studies relating arts education and students’ abilities to learn other subjects.

Why Arts Education Must Be Saved, Edutopia, January 28, 2009
Links to videos and articles showing students engaged in the arts.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Summary of Results & Implications for Arts Learning:  Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, January 27, 2010
This study shows declining participation in the arts. Here is an important quote from this article: “Learning in the arts in school years, or the lack of it, predicts later patterns of participation. This interpretation would seem to logically reflect the parallel reduction in arts education opportunities and arts participation over the last 28 years.” Also, “…the findings of the current survey should be a source of concern, not only for supporters of arts education, but for more mainstream adherents of fundamental social and personal values. […] People who participate in the arts are twice to three times as likely to engage in positive civic and individual activities as non-arts participants.”This letter from Secretary Arne Duncan encourages schools to either keep or incorporate an arts education program to provide students with a “well-rounded education.”

10 Lessons the Arts Teach, E. Eisner, 2002 (from the National Arts Education Association website)
Ten simple reasons advocating an arts program.

The Arts Education Effect: Why Schools With Art Programs Do Better At Narrowing Achievement Gaps, Arts Education Partnership (originally published through Education Week, September 23, 2009)
The importance of arts in learning 21st Century Skills, and how the road to success often ends earlier than you might imagine.

Why Arts Education is Crucial, Edutopia, January 28, 2009
Fran Smith writes: “Years of research show that it’s closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. ” She also address the affects of No Child Left Behind on the quality of arts education, reporting ” in February 2008, […] 16 percent of districts had reduced elementary school class time for music and art — and had done so by an average of 35 percent, or fifty-seven minutes a week.” So now that the arts have suffered, what is happening about it?

Letter from Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, August 2009

Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, James Catterall, March 9, 2010 (from the Arts Education Partnership website)
Summary of a study by James Catterall showing the benefit of an “arts-rich environment” for ELL and economically-disadvantaged students.

Arts and Physical Education in Schools: Necessities or Extras?, The Sun Sentinel, June 7, 2010
Due to severe budget cuts, schools in South Florida are taking opposite approaches to special programs. This article gives an overview of both arguments, including both school officials and parents weighing in on why the arts are important to their schools.

The Case for Creative Dismantling, Josh Barkey, May 26, 2010
Blog post from a second-year teacher sharing an experience with encouraging creativity in one particular student.

The Creativity Crisis, Newsweek, July 10, 2010
The Torrence Creativity Test has been used worldwide for 50+ years to analyze students’ “creativity quotient.” Unsurprisingly, scores for American students have been dwindling since the 1990s. The article also shows some examples of “good” and “average” answers to the test.

Schools That Work: Mixing Art + Politics, Edutopia, June 22, 2011
This video follows two Pennsylvania teachers who work together.

Visual Arts as Creative Thinking, Edutopia, November 2, 2011
Andrew Miller gives examples of how an arts-centric school uses Visual Art as the basis of several common classroom activities.

Confessions of a ‘Bad’ Teacher, New York Times, March 3, 2012
A New York special education teacher writes about what it is like being labeled “unsatisfactory” by his district.

Arts Instruction Still Widely Available, but Disparities Persist, Education Week, April 2, 2012
Current national statistics on the availability of music and visual arts in schools. Fortunately, percentages haven’t changed much overall in the past decade; where the number have changed, however, is in low-income schools.