Pro-arts education proponents are celebrating their first major win after the recent announcement that Illinois approved the use of arts education as one of the K-12 performance in the schooling system. In doing so, it became the first state to support the use of arts education as a success measure.
The move represents a landmark moment for Illinois as the first state to support the move. This was after the Illinois State Board of Education gave the green light to a recommendation presented by Carmen Ayala seeking for the inclusion of a weighted arts education indicator into the education system in the state.
The approval of the arts indicator into the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will allow arts education in Illinois to receive more funding. Claire Rice, the executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois believes that the decision to use arts education as a performance indicator will be of significant advantage to Children in Illinois schools.
The incorporation of a weighted arts indicator in the schooling system will allow students to think creatively and also develop superior problem-solving skills. I will also promote more engagement, as well as emotional and social development.
Ayala presented the proposal to the Illinois State Board of Education in 2019 and it was discussed by 27 members that include administrators, teachers, and art education organizations. The approved use of a weighted arts indicator in Illinois schools is expected to apply from 2022 or 2023. It will account for 5 percent of the accountability score in each school and around 3 percent weighted performance for every student.
The decision to introduce arts as an important performance indicator is aimed at recognizing the importance of the arts as a vital part of education. It is also not just meant to benefit the students but it will also recognize the schools that will focus on delivering excellence even in arts education. Illinois is the first state to support the move towards arts education being a vital part of the system but it is a move that will likely encourage other states to follow in the same footsteps.