TRACES SPRING 2016 - Page 82

Evidencence has proven that students who take Art and Humanities, (Art, music, foreign

language, etc), have higher test scores, and that is all that seems to matter in high school

anymore. That’s a whole different rant, but if more art classes equal higher scores, why do so

many schools continue to cut the budget of these classes? If people involved in musical classes

have the highest reading scores, why are these classes considered less superior? Students taught

foreign languages score better also, and it is essential in order in cognitive development.

Funding for the Art and Humanities is estimated at about $250 million, which is only 1/20th of

the amount that is funded to the National Science Foundation. It was and still is the first thing

that most school consider cutting. The benefits of taking these classes are numerous, but what

happens if you take them away? There are some elementary schools in the country that are

projected to completely eliminate their music programs within the next year, for example, at

Churchill High school in Pittsburgh, more and more humanity classes are becoming vacant. A

little change like this can affect a child in endless ways.

All people crave creativity and development in our social lives and personality, but they

are also things that we can gain through taking classes in the arts and humanities. We want less

drop outs in our schools, higher test scores, and higher grades, but we still eliminate chances for

students to take the classes that promote this. In countries like Japan, Hungary, and the

Netherlands, it is mandatory to take humanities classes, and guess what, these countries regularly

rank among the highest in test scores. Schools gain money from higher test scores, so by

offering these classes the students, teachers, and school itself can gain something. Also, not only

high schools, but colleges are being forced to cut the amount of arts offered. The number of

students majoring in these subjects has decreased by half since the 1960s , however, the number

of teachers stays the same. This could ultimately lead to job loss, and could be blamed partly on

students not getting as much exposure to these subjects in high school. For example, at our high

school we are required to take some many years of each subject, except for art, music, foods, etc,

and each year it seems as though taking a language is less important. Taking a language is useful

in every aspect of life. However, with little funding to these programs, how can you make it

mandatory to take them? Also, in my drawing 1 class I was given a sketch book, pencil, and an

eraser, by just the next year in drawing 2 I had to buy my own supplies or borrow. The

department does not have the money to provide supplies to every student who takes the class. It

also seems that every year there are less art classes available to take. There are so many things

that students learn in art classes that they do not learn in math or science classes. Students

Quit The

Cutting!

By Cassandra Surmacz